January 2021

Paedophile jailed after trying to hide sordid past from kids’ mum

A convicted paedophile has been jailed after he kept his sordid past secret from a new partner.

In 2010 Bernard Brookes was jailed for six years for having sex with a girl aged under 13 and made subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the rest of his life.

He was supervised in the community, but Bolton Crown Court heard how he lied to his sex offender manager, claiming he was single.

In reality he had started a relationship with a woman who had children and failed to inform her about his background for months.

Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, told the court how, under the terms of the sexual offences prevention order, 48-year-old Brookes is banned from approaching or communicating with children and prohibited from allowing children into his home.

In March last year, when visited by his offender manager, he said he was single and did not want a relationship.

“But in September 2020 it came to the attention of social services and then police that the defendant has been conducting a relationship with a woman who had children,” said Miss Johnson.

The woman told police that she had been involved with Brookes for just over a year but had ended it when she discovered his past.

“She said she had never been told of that by him during the course of the relationship,” said Miss Johnson.

The court heard that the woman had occasionally visited Brookes’ flat with the children and he had visited her home, sometimes staying overnight, but he had never been alone with the youngsters.

“She said that when she ended the relationship, the defendant said that he hadn’t disclosed his past to her because he was ashamed of it,” said Miss Johnson.

“She has described feeling betrayed and deceived by him.”

Brookes claimed he had very little to do with, or interest in, the children but police found a calendar in his flat where he has circled the school holidays and the children’s birthdays.

When arrested, Brookes lied and claimed he had not been in a relationship with the woman and had only visited her when the children were not there.  

Brookes, of Rishton Lane, Bolton, pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching his sexual offences prevention order but Kate Roxburgh, defending, stressed: “There is no suggestion that these breaches were, in any way, a precursor to a sexual offence on children.”

Jailing him for 12 months Judge Graeme Smith told Brookes, who is categorised as posing a high risk of harm to children, that he had had contact with children when he should not have had.

And he added that the offending was made worse because their mother was unaware of his previous convictions and the ban on being with children.

“You can understand why she feels upset, betrayed and deceived as a result,” said Judge Smith. “You tried to hide the relationship from your offender manager.”

The judge added that breaching the order had been persistent as it had occurred over a long period of time.

“However, it was not one which involved any actual harm or any threat of harm to the children concerned,” he said.