‘Manipulative’ sex offender who went on the run found inside Peterborough offices

A registered sex offender who went on the run from police has been jailed.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 5:34 pm

Despite efforts to evade police for more than three months, Nicholas Lea (54) was arrested on June 27 after officers traced a vehicle to where he was hiding.

On March 11 police carried out a home visit as part of a routine check on registered sex offenders who are managed within Cambridgeshire.

A number of electronic devices were seized to have their contents reviewed, which uncovered more than 26,000 images.

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Nicholas Lea

Of these, 5,491 were deemed to be indecent and graded as category C, 99 category B and 88 category A - category A being the most severe.

Knowing that he would be arrested once officers discovered the images, Lea left the area, travelling down to London and changing his appearance.

He notified the Metropolitan Police Service that he was a registered sex offender and had a new address in their area, which was part of his notification requirements of being on the Sex Offenders Register.

Cambridgeshire officers learnt, however, that Lea had given a made up address.

Lea, of no fixed address, opened a new bank account in his efforts to lie low, however, officers discovered the account and tracked his activity around the country, leading back to a fuel station in Peterborough.

He was seen on CCTV leaving in a black Ford Mondeo which was registered to Lea at Brightfield Business Hub in Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate. Officers attended and found the car at the location, along with Lea inside the building.

DC Natalie Hebdon said: “Lea is a deceitful and manipulative character who pre-planned his escape from the area after we seized his devices.

“Four days after our visit he opened up a new bank account, later bought a new car, registered a fake address and went on the run.”

In June Lea was charged with four counts of failing to comply with the notification requirements of the Sex Offenders Register, breaching the terms of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and three counts of making indecent images of a child.

He admitted the offences and appeared at Peterborough Crown Court today (Friday) where he was sentenced to a total of 20 months in prison.

He has also been made subject of a further Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years.