April 2013

Former Bromsgrove Lib Dem chair jailed for child sex offences

Former Bromsgrove Lib Dem chair jailed for child sex offences

A FORMER chairman of the Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats has been jailed after admitting sex offences on children under 16.

Geoffrey Ray, 71 and from Middle Drive, Cofton Hackett, was sentenced to four years and four months at Worcester Crown Court yesterday (Thursday).

He had previously pleaded guilty to committing three indecent assaults on girls aged between nine and 15 years of age in Bromsgrove between September 1976 and May 1985.

Ray was handed three consecutive sentences of 16 months, one year and two years and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Judge Michael Cullum said he had abused a position of trust to commit the ‘predatory’ crimes which he added had impacted significantly on his victims’ lives.

The offences came to light after Ray was pictured on the front page of the Standard in 2011 involved with a walking group.

It brought back memories for one of the victims who recognised him and contacted police.

When officers questioned Ray at his home, he mentioned the name of a different girl which led to two more victims being identified.

Det Con Nadia Prescott said he had confessed after being charged but had never expressed any remorse during his interviews for what he had done.

“The first victim to come forward and contact the police wasn’t aware there had been any other victims. However, because of her bravery we were able to conduct an investigation which led to us tracing two others,” she added.

“I would like to pay tribute to the courage of all the victims who came forward to give evidence.

“Ray betrayed a position of trust and the serious nature of the crimes is reflected by the sentence handed down by the court and the fact he has lost his liberty.

“The result shows that despite the fact that some sexual crimes may not be reported until decades later, offenders can still be brought to justice.”

Ray was chairman of the Bromsgrove branch of the Liberal Democrats as recently as 2010 and was believed to be still actively involved with the party.

No one from the Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats was available to comment at the time the Standard went to press.