January 2006

Repeat sexual offender jailed

A predatory paedophile who breached a ground-breaking order to keep him away from children has been given an indefinite jail sentence after a new wave of sex attacks.

Lawrence Goffett – “addicted” to schoolgirls – made headlines in 2000 when he became one of the first in the region to receive a sex offender prevention order (Sopo).

He had already been convicted of molesting a 13-year-old in 1996 when worried police successfully applied for the Sopo after discovering children had been visiting his then home in Amble, Northumberland.

The extensive order banned Goffett from any contact with youngsters.

But he breached it in 2001 by letting a 16-year-old girl into his flat.

And now the 55-year-old has been given an indeterminate sentence for public protection after admitting a catalogue of sex offences.

Goffett launched the sinister spree after moving to Tyneside, befriending families with young children and hiding his paedophile past.

He groomed youngsters for abuse, Newcastle Crown Court heard. And before he was arrested last June, he had molested two schoolgirls and begun to target two more.

The youngsters were all aged between six and 14.

Goffett, of Gateshead admitted four charges of sexual assault on children, two of meeting a child following sexual grooming and breaches of the Sopo.

Judge David Wood told him: “I have two reports about you, one from the probation service and one from the sex offender team and unfortunately both of them say you pose a high risk of harm to children in the future.”

Goffett was given an indeterminate jail term under new dangerous offenders legislation after admitting offences of indecent assault and sexual grooming and breaches of the order.

He must also register as a sex offender for life.

Goffett can apply for release after two years but will only be freed once the parole board is satisfied it is safe.