Skegness beach donkey man ‘groomed teen’

A man working on donkey rides on the beach at Skegness groomed a teenage boy before sexually assaulting him, a jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Geoffrey Garrett befriended the youngster back in 2002 and 2003 giving him tobacco and alcohol.

Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, said Garrett eventually took advantage of the boy and sexually assaulted him on a number of occasions.

Mr Janes said “Geoffrey Garrett worked on the donkeys at Skegness and Ingoldmells for over 20 years.

“It was while he was working there over the Summer period on the donkey rides that he came to meet the boy in the early 2000s.

“Garrett would provide him with tobacco and alcohol. It was an unlikely attraction between a man and a teenager but it developed. It had all the hallmarks of grooming. Alcohol and tobacco and money from time to time helped him gain the favour and affections of that young boy.”

When Garrett was later arrested he admitted he knew the boy from working on the donkeys but denied any sexual acts occurred.

Garrett, 41, formerly of Skegness but now living in Orchard Close, Great Hale, Sleaford, was ruled unfit to stand trial due to mental health problems and was not present at his trial.

A jury subsequently ruled that he committed the two acts of indecent assault alleged against him between June 2002 and August 2003.

Garrett was also accused of two charges of rape and a further charge of indecent assault on a second teenage boy on dates between June 2008 and September 2010. The jury cleared him of those matters.

He was given a supervision order for 18 months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years. He was also given an indefinite sexual offences prevention order which prohibits him from unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16.

Gordon Aspden, defending, said Garrett suffered from mental health problems and was under a disability which meant he could not stand trial.