Hartlepool funeral home drops name of convicted sex offender Gerald Martin

The funeral home now called Masons Funeral Service, in Park Road.
The funeral home now called Masons Funeral Service, in Park Road.
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A Hartlepool funeral service has removed one of its directors from the name of the business following his conviction for sex offences.

Mason & Gerald Martin Funeral Service in Park Road is now called Mason’s Funeral Service.

Gerald Martin outside Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

Gerald Martin outside Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

The name change follows Gerald Martin’s conviction last month of 14 sexual offences spanning two decades.

Martin, 66, was one of the funeral service’s key funeral directors and is well known in the town.

He conducted thousands of funerals over the years and regularly appeared in local newspapers, including the Mail, for his various charity work.

The business has arranged and conducted funerals for over 140 years.

It is part of the Dignity funeral group which has funeral directors all over the UK.

The Mail has contacted Dignity for comment on the name change but it has so far not responded to requests.

A jury found Martin abused five boys on separate occasions over a 20 period.

He was a captain in the 5th Hartlepool Boys’ Brigade during the time of his offending.

Martin, of Valley Close, Hartlepool, was found guilty of seven charges of indecent assault, three charges of committing a serious sexual offence, three charges of attempting to commit the same serious sexual offence, and one charge of false imprisonment.

The abuse took place in public toilets in Hartlepool, at the funeral parlour in Park Road and at two other locations in the town.

His crimes came to light in 2013 when one of his alleged victims, by then an adult, was suffering mental health problems.

Two more came forward as a result of publicity and a further two were traced by police.

Martin is due to be sentenced on November 4.