Hartlepool sex offender went on Spanish cruise after failing to tell Cleveland Police of travel plans

A registered sex offender landed himself in court by going on a Mediterranean cruise without informing the police.
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Gary Barnstaple enjoyed a two-week holiday sailing around Spain last summer on a passport which he also failed to declare to authorities.

Barnstable, now 61, was put on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely in November 2017 after he was convicted of indecently assaulting a female under the age of 16 and jailed for 33 months.

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But he kept the fact he had a passport since 2015 a secret from the police and arranged for someone else to book the cruise for him.

Teesside Crown Court.Teesside Crown Court.
Teesside Crown Court.

However, Barnstaple was exposed when a woman he befriended on the holiday later carried out a background check on him under Claire’s Law.

The legislation enables police to disclose information about a partner or ex-partner’s violent or abusive past.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, at Teesside Crown Court said: “The first breach was that he failed to disclose he had a current passport when he registered initially back in 2017. He applied for it in 2015.

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"He travelled abroad on that passport and didn’t indicate his intention. He went on a Mediterranean cruise in July 2023.”

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Barnstaple was also found to have an email account since 2015 which he also failed to tell police about under the terms of the sex offenders’ register.

Mr Soppitt added: “All these matters came to light in November 2023 when a female he met on the cruise sought some details from the police as to his status.”

Barnstaple, of Flint Walk, Hartlepool, admitted three counts of failing to comply with the sex offender notification requirements at an earlier hearing before magistrates.

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Chris Morrison, mitigating, submitted nobody was harmed as a result of the breaches and that they did not lead to any further offending.

But Judge Richard Bennett told Barnstaple: “There’s an inherent risk somebody with your previous convictions of committing further offences.”

He said there had been a “long period” of non compliance adding: “You have an obligation to follow any court order that flows from that conviction including notification requirements.”

Barnstaple was given 10-month jail term, which was suspended for 24 months, plus 200 hours of unpaid work and 35 probation days.