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Chairman of tenant housing management company jailed for eight years for child abuse (1 September 2015)

Date: 01/09/2015
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Chairman of tenant housing management company jailed for eight years for child abuse

A 51-year-old IT consultant from Islington has been jailed for eight years at the Old Bailey, after pleading guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and other charges.

The Islington Tribune reports that Geoffrey Gex – originally from the USA – was arrested on child pornography charges in September 2014. In March this year, he admitted the charge of incitement, along with charges of engaging in sexual activity with a child, attempting to arrange to meet a child following grooming and six counts of possessing indecent images.

Police recovered chat logs from Gex’s computer, which showed that Gex was making trips to El Salvador and Mexico, where he was having sexual activity with teenage boys. He also engaged in sexual activity online with teenage boys – and was found to be in contact with a paedophile in El Salvador who arranged for Gex to have Skype sessions with teenage boys.

Gex had also spent five years in jail in the USA for sexually abusing five boys between the ages of 11 and 14 while he was employed as a baseball coach.

He moved to the UK 15 years ago and had hidden his previous conviction from the authorities. He was eventually granted indefinite leave to remain in Britain and was chairman of the Bemerton Villages Management Organisation (BVMO) in Islington. The council has now taken over management of the estate since Gex’s conviction. It has been revealed that, although Gex’s solicitor advising the BVMO of his conviction “six to eight weeks ago”, the BVMO had only advised the Town Hall of the conviction after details of it appeared online.

BVMO acting chairman John Bevin told the Islington Tribune that Gex had “suddenly disappeared” – although he had attended a BVMO meeting after being arrested over child pornography allegations. Mr Bevin said the board had been shocked to learn of Gex’s conviction. A solicitor has confirmed to the council that both the acting chairman and manager of the BVMO had no prior knowledge of Gex’s conviction.

The Old Bailey heard that Gex – who lived in a flat at Earlsferry Way, off the Caledonian Way in Islington – used the Internet to look for child pornography and had also tried to “lure” boys to London to be abused. The court was told Gex had been expelled from school in the USA for sexual activity with a younger pupil – and had also been expelled from US Naval College over sexual activity with a minor.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC sentenced Gex to eight years in prison on 10 August – describing him as “dangerous” to teenage boys.

A spokesman for Islington Council said that it had taken back control of the Bemerton Villages Management Organisation as a result of its failure to disclose Gex’s conviction as soon as the information became known. The BMVO had attempted to obtain an injunction to prevent the takeover.

A spokesman for the council said that the judge described the failure to disclose the arrest and prosecution of Gex to the Town Hall as “astonishing”.

Councillor Richard Watts added:

“The council cannot allow a situation where children and young people might be put at risk of abuse.”

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