Convicted paedophile fights police bid to stop him selling ice cream out of van

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A convicted paedophile who wore soiled girls knickers in public toilets is fighting a police bid to stop him working as an ice cream man.

Merseyside Police are trying to stop 47-year-old Paul Neary from selling ice cream from a van near Crosby Beach.

The paedophile was caught with pictures of Barbie dolls mimicking sex acts on him at his home, and he wore soiled girl’s knickers in public toilets opposite his ice cream van.

He had also displayed children’s underwear on sand dunes near Gormley statues, The Liverpool Echo reports.

But none of that behaviour is illegal and local councillors in Sefton are powerless as ice cream vendors are not regulated by the authority.

Cops have applied to a court to change the terms of Neary’s Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) to protect the public.

Neary is fighting the application in a bid to continue selling ice cream – a job he “enjoys”.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Neary, of Dingle, was convicted of possessing indecent images of children in August 2016.

He received a suspended jail sentence and was told to sign on the Sex Offenders Register and comply with a SHPO for 10 years.

Merseyside Police want the wording of the SHPO amended to stop him working as an ice cream vendor or having any female child toy dolls, undertaking any activity or employment with girls under 16, and having any unsupervised contact with them.

Officers knew Neary worked as a DJ at a pub in West Derby and had other jobs, including distributing phone directories.

But they had no idea he sold ice cream until a visit to his then home in Burbo Bank Road South – overlooking the beach – on July 5 last year.

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Giving evidence in court, PC Mary Fielding, who monitors sex offenders, said that it was only by chance that the force found out about the offenders work.

A neighbour had knocked on his door and asked the PC if Neary could move his ice cream van.

He then admitted the van was his and that he had taken over his uncle’s round in February 2019 but his employer was unaware of his previous conviction.

Nearly agreed not to work until he informed his employer – a Kirkby-based firm that later agreed to let him continue working.

PC Fielding said the paedophile’s flat was “exceptionally cluttered” with bags of clothing and when she asked why, he “giggled nervously”.

Nearly said he enjoyed cross dressing and that the bags were from car boot sales.

The officer found women’s clothing along with children’s clothes and toys, including Barbie dolls.

Neary had a laptop for his DJ work and a mobile phone, which didn't have access to the internet, but on this occasion police found a new Alcatel device, which did.

PC Fielding inspected the Android phone and discovered photos of soiled children's underwear on sand dunes, so told him it would be seized for examination.

Analysis found around 40 photos of numerous pairs of girls underwear, which police believe Neary soiled before laying them out on the beach.

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There were also more than 100 photos of naked Barbie dolls, placed around a toilet and put in sexual poses including some touching Neary’s penis.

Police also found more than 30 pictures and videos of him wearing soiled knickers around his ankles and halfway up his leg, sometimes with his penis on display, in a public toilet.

PC Fielding visited his home twice again on October 11.

He failed at first to answer the door, which Neary claimed was because he was wearing ladies clothes and didn't want her to see him, then said he was still selling ice cream.

In a report, the officer said the clothes and images suggested Neary had sexual fantasies around soiled female underwear, and wearing these clothes and his use of Barbie dolls showed "clear evidence of sexual preoccupation and possible offence-related sexual interests".

The officer said she therefore believed further prohibitions were necessary to protect the public from sexual harm.

Neary moved to Copy Lane, Bootle, where PC Fielding visited him on April 28, to discuss the photos on his phone and the proposed prohibitions, including a ban on him selling ice cream.

She said Neary was "shocked at this and expressed he does a good job and he enjoys it".

Neary attended a police station on June 26 to complete an Active Risk Management System assessment.

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PC Fielding told him she felt he was putting himself at risk – of re-offending, or being "tempted" – but he didn't agree.

The self-confessed "loner" and "hoarder" said he had found comfort in dressing in female clothes since he was a child, after being "mentally abused" by his dad, who made him wear his sister's underwear to school when his wasn't dry, which led to him being mocked.

Neary said he started looking at child sex abuse images out of "curiosity", when viewing adult porn to help him relax after night shifts in his old job as a taxi driver, but became "obsessed".

He didn't answer whether he was aroused by children and refused to discuss the photos of him with dolls, saying "everyone has a right to a private life" and he "knew the difference between right and wrong".

Neary denied reenacting indecent images with the dolls and said he was "fascinated" with them, but couldn't explain why.

PC Fielding said she believed "isolated" Neary – a church goer with few friends – wanted dolls and clothes already played with and worn by children.

She said Neary told her he was "haunted by a demon" because of his offending, and thought his flat was haunted so moved, but "the demon followed him".

Under cross examination by Paul Lewis, representing Neary, the officer accepted that neither she nor her colleagues were aware of him committing any offences while working as an ice cream van man.

However, PC Fielding said: "I think working as an ice cream vendor in an ice cream van is not an appropriate job for a registered sex offender."

The hearing will continue later this week, when a judge will give his ruling.

  • Courts
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