A registered sex offender who was caught performing a sexual act on himself in the presence of children in Peterborough city centre has been jailed.

Gary Smith, 50, who was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for seven years in December 2013 after being convicted of indecent exposure, is subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) banning him from certain public areas.

Police were called at 2.15pm on May 14 by a member of the public in Peterborough Cathedral’s green area, reporting seeing a man watching children while performing a sexual act on himself.

A description of the man was given to officers who identified him as potentially being Smith, and immediately deployed to the area.

Smith had begun walking towards the St Johns Street area but returned to the cathedral grounds a short while later, prompting a further call to police reporting the man’s movements.

Officers found Smith hiding behind a gravestone, lying on the ground, and arrested him for indecent exposure and breaching a CBO.

In 2019, Smith was jailed for a year after being convicted of outraging public decency and was made subject of a ten-year CBO which states he must:

  • Not go within 200 metres of a swimming pool or leisure centre
  • Not go within 100 metres of any school or college
  • Not attend areas of public parks or gardens

Smith, of no fixed address, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on January 11 where he was sentenced to 19 months in prison after previously admitting outraging public decency and breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order.

PC Rebecca Risebrow, who investigated, said: “Smith continues to show a disregard for the court orders made against him, with continual and clear breaches over the last 10 years.

“His behaviour is truly disgusting, with five convictions for outraging public decency in as many years.”

Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to a child, can apply for disclosure information through Sarah’s Law.