Retired police officer caught convicted paedophile taking photos of children's football matches - Leeds Crown Court

A convicted paedophile who was caught taking photos of children's football matches has avoided going into custody.

By Nick Frame
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 4:45 am

Jerry Lyons was asked "in a semi-professional capacity" to take the snaps for an unnamed club in the Wakefield district but failed to notify them of his past, Leeds Crown Court heard.

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The 59-year-old was subject to a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) at the time which banned him from any kind of contact with anyone under 16.

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Jerry Lyons appeared for sentencing at Leeds Crown Court. Picture: James Hardisty

Prosecutor Robert Galley said Lyons' past came to light when a retired police officer recognised him taking photos at a children's match in October 2020.

He was soon arrested and police found images on his computer from matches. They also found deleted searches including "boys without shirts" and "sexy shirtless" as well as photos of a boy that were taken at the youngster's birthday.

Lyons, formerly of South Elmsall but now of Saffrons Road, Eastbourne, admitted three breaches of his SHPO, which was designed to limit his internet use.

He was jailed in 2011 for 24 months for making and distributing indecent images of children. In 2016, he was then given the five-year SHPO which prevented him from taking photos of anyone under 16.

Mitigating, Jeremy Barton said that Lyons pleaded guilty at an early opportunity and realises the gravity of his actions.

He said: "He understands that if he does not embrace it fully then he is likely to spend his time behind bars."

He said that Lyons is also a carer for his terminally-ill dad.

Judge Christopher Batty told Lyons that his breaches crossed the custody threshold, but opted to suspend the sentence.

He said that there was no suggestion that Lyons was distributing any photographs.

He said: "It's the third time you are here now. There are issues that you need to address. It's serious."

Lyons was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for two years. The judge ordered him to enroll on a sex offenders' programme and gave him a new seven-year SHPO.

This article was first published by the Wakefield Express.