February 2020

Horrified mum discovers boyfriend is a convicted child sex offender after he got her pregnant

A sex offender has been jailed for starting a relationship in which he fathered a child without telling his partner the truth about his past.

The horrified woman only learned the Lee-Jay Campbell had served time for under age sex offences after their son was born last year.

The single mother met him through an online dating site and he started staying over at the home which she shared with her daughter in Cornwall in August 2018.

She became pregnant within weeks and gave birth to their son in May 2019, still unaware of the truth about him. He moved in full time and they set up home together in Cornwall.

Campbell, aged 37, told a series of lies and half truths during their relationship. He said he had nowhere to live because his self-build project in Newton Abbot had fallen through.

He told her eventually about his previous convictions but claimed he had taken the blame for his brother on one occasion and had sex with a 15-year-old girl who lied about her age on another. Both stories were untrue.

He behaved like a stepfather to her daughter, taking her to and from school, even though he was subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) which banned him from within 100 metres of any school.

He also lied to the police to cover up the fact that he was living in the same household as a child, which was also banned by the SOPO.

Campbell, who worked as a cook, travelled once a week to a police station in Torquay where he signed on the sex offenders register as being homeless.

His former girlfriend eventually told her parents about her suspicions and he was arrested in December last year.

She made a victim impact statement saying she felt very foolish and stupid and that his actions had affected her in a big way and would continue to do so for years to come.

Campbell, originally from Exeter but now of no fixed address, admitted breaching the SOPO and the terms of the Sex Offenders Register and was jailed for two years by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him: “These offences were completely intertwined because you used the breach of the register to cover up the breach of the SOPO. You started a relationship, which you were perfectly entitled to do, but you knew she had a daughter and you were restricted from any contact with a female child under 16.

“You were hiding your relationship from the authorities precisely because you did not want the police to turn up. You were going to the police station every week and pretending to have no fixed abode.

“Every time, you were misleading the police to avoid the risk of your breach of the SOPO being discovered. These are very serious matters.”

Mr Joss Ticehurst, prosecuting, said Campbell was put on the register for life and an indefinite SOPO imposed in 2007 when he was jailed for three years at Exeter Crown Court for sexual activity with a child.

He met the single mother in August 2018 and started staying regularly at her home shortly afterwards. They moved to a new house together in March 2019 and their son was born in May 2019.

He told her at some stage that he was on the sex offenders register but lied about the circumstances, claiming he took the rap for an offence committed by his brother and the under age sex was with a girl who he met in a night club and told him she was over 16.

Mr Ticehurst said: “In May 2019, they had a son together. She did not know about his convictions when she became pregnant. Once pregnant, she found it difficult to end the relationship because she did not want to bring up their child alone.”

It led to her accepting his account of his past and misleading her own family and friends about him. She only learned the truth shortly before his arrest.

He has five previous convictions for breaking the SOPO or failing to comply with the register.