Convicted sex offender poses as ’56-year-old lesbian named Carol’ on social media

A convicted sex offender posed online as a ’56-year-old lesbian named Carol’ to search the internet for ‘disturbing’ content. In 2017, Geraint ap Dewi Rowlands was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and banned for 10 years from using any social media websites or apps without first telling the police.

But the 64-year-old man from Cleveland Avenue in Tywyn, Gwynedd, who had been convicted of possession of extreme and prohibited pornographic images, was caught using a false identity in order to search for indecent images of young girls .

He appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday April 13) for breaching his existing sexual abuse prevention order. The court heard how Rowlands had met the requirements of his suspended sentence – including unpaid work – without issue until the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

Read more: Pedophiles jailed for historic offenses in Wales

The prosecutor, Mr Dafydd Roberts, revealed how Rowlands started accessing banned websites again as early as March this year. And his online records showed he continued to access apps and websites until June 2021.

Last summer, a North Wales police officer seized a mobile phone and laptop computer from Rowlands’ home address and discovered that he had accessed various apps, using a false identity of “Carol Jones” on one of them.

The court heard how, using the character “Carol”, he created an account on Flickr – a photo-sharing website. She was portrayed as a “56-year-old lesbian,” Mr Roberts said.

Conversations on some of the other apps showed that Rowlands had apparently spoken to other sex offenders with similar interests to him. A message mentioned that “young girls and dogs” were “top of his list of pleasures”.

North Wales Live also reported how the father-of-two’s internet history was found to contain various ‘disturbing’ search terms. One included an “erotic stories” website where he had searched for information about underage girls.

Caernarfon Crown and Magistrates Court

When arrested, Rowlands admitted to creating the accounts and using them, but denied any sexual interest in the children. He also let slip that he had “six or seven” email addresses that the police were unaware of.

In defence, Mr Simon Rodgers, said he accepted the content his client was looking for online was “deeply concerning”. He added that Rowlands had made no attempt to contact children or upload content.

Mr Rodgers said it was not uncommon in cases like these for defendants to try to “hide” their “warped” desires from the authorities. He suggested that a longer, community-based sentence, where such predilections could be dealt with by the probation service, would be more beneficial for Rowlands receiving a ‘limited’ prison sentence.

Judge Timothy Petts agreed that the defense should make these arguments, but disagreed strongly. He said there was “no realistic prospect of rehabilitation” for these “disturbing” habits.

Jailing Rowlands for 14 months, he said: “Your warped mindset persists and you see yourself as a passive bystander when others discuss child sexual abuse. You are clearly there for perverse sexual gratification.

“There’s remorse here, but the probation service seems to be of the opinion that it’s just to avoid jail time. It won’t work, I’m afraid.”

An order was also issued by the judge for the devices that had been confiscated by the police to be destroyed. The sexual abuse prevention order continues under the same conditions as before.