Kitchener, pictured here for the first time, was jailed last week for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl
A young mum says she’s horrified the authorities falsely have a convicted child abuser Gareth Kitchener living in her house.
Court papers have the 36-year-old listed as living at Union Street, in Ballymoney, but it emerged last weekend he hasn’t lived at that address in well over a year.
Kitchener, pictured here, was jailed last week for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl though he was released on bail to appeal both his conviction and his sentence.
Despite the child abuser going to court last year to change his own bail address while he awaited trial for six counts of sexually touching a child his address is being given out to the press and public as Union Street.
When we called to the address looking for Kitchener the door was answered by a toddler who’s mum explained she had already complained to the PSNI about the address cock-up.
“I can’t believe they are still giving out this address for a sex offender, I told them months ago he doesn’t live here,” said the mum who not surprisingly didn’t want to be identified.
“I was getting official letters to the house for this man and detailing how he was facing charges of child abuse,” she told the Sunday World.
“I’d never heard of this person but I was horrified to think people thought a sex offender lived here. I went to the police and told them there was something wrong.
“I’ve never met Gareth Kitchener and I don’t even know when he lived here. All I know is I moved in here on July 15.
“I’m not happy about it at all but thankfully the people round this area know me well enough.”
Kitchener was due to have his appeal heard on Thursday but the case was adjourned but court listings continue to state his address as the one in Union Street which he left around 16 months ago.
It’s not the first time the incorrect address of a convicted sex offender has been repeatedly given out by the courts.
Last year it emerged ex-teacher Colin Trory had been caught with indecent images of kids for a second time.
The address the court had for him for his recent offences was the old east Belfast address which he hadn’t lived in for over 13 years.
Originally, the Sunday World went to the address on top of the court papers available to the press which detail the ten new counts against him for which he pleaded guilty.
But a young couple with two young children were living at the address listed as Colin Trory’s.
The young couple said Trory had not lived there for well over 13 years and they had bought the property from a relative of his.
Gareth Kitchener tried to claim inappropriate messages sent to the young girl had been sent by one of his young children.
The 36-year-old father-of-four pounced on the girl who had befriended his own kids though he continues to deny he did anything wrong.
However, a judge at Enniskillen Magistrates’ Court found him guilty and told Kitchener he had: “Embarked upon inappropriate behaviour, touching and language for his own gratification.”
The judge also described work time sheets produced by the Castlederg man, which he claimed proved he was at work when the offences occurred, were “fraudulent”.
Kitchener continues to deny six counts of sexually touching the victim over a four-week period, culminating on September 5, 2020, during a day trip with him and his family.
The court heard last week how on that day, a relative of Kitchener’s approached the victim’s mother expressing concerns on his sexualised behaviour toward the child.
Hysterical, the mother rang Kitchener’s partner telling her to bring the child home straightaway.
Kitchener however insisted his relative “has from that day to this, denied going anywhere near the mother.”
Apart from the day trip, he was adamant he couldn’t have been present when the incidents occurred as he leaves for work at 6am, never returning home before 10pm, presenting timesheets to support this.
While stating his relative and employer were due to give evidence, he couldn’t explain why neither came to court to do so.
When District Judge Steven Keown enquired police were told, “they wanted nothing to do with the case” Kitchener claimed to be unaware of this.
He denied any inappropriate behaviour, insisting “I’m not that kind of person … I never laid one finger on her. Definitely not ... Everything she has said is lies. Every bit of it. I was always working, Monday to Friday. I was never about the house.”
The victim’s mother described confronting her daughter having learned of Kitchener’s behaviour, but she initially denied anything had occurred.
When pressed further, “She burst out crying,” she told the court. “She hadn’t told me because she didn’t want Kitchener’s partner getting in trouble.
“She told my daughter not to say anything or Social Services would take away her kids. Can you imagine the position my child was in?”
Kitchener’s partner denied in court seeing any inappropriate engagement with the child and on the day the mother discovered the behaviour she said, “I walked ( the child) to her house. Her mother was shouting a pile of abuse at me.”
Following consideration, Judge Keown convicted Kitchener.
“The victim gave a detailed, unwavering account and the defendant gave a bald denial, asserting she lied for reasons unknown. His evidence was self-serving and unimpressive. I entirely reject it and his partner’s evidence, who attempted to sing off the same hymn sheet, but they contradicted each other.
“The victim was reluctant to disclose what occurred, but when pushed, broke down and divulged all. This was after Kitchener’s relative approached the mother with concerns. This relative refused to attend court to give evidence. I am satisfied she alerted the victim’s mother, resulting in her not wishing further involvement.”
Kitchener’s alibi timesheets were also rejected with Judge Keown noting, “The employer – a convicted fraudster – also refused to attend court to stand over these records. I don’t accept they are valid or legitimate. They’re a fraudulent account of hours worked.”
Judge Keown concluded: “The defendant saw a young girl befriending his children and embarked upon clearly sexually inappropriate behaviour, touching and language, for his own gratification.”
The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports which revealed Kitchener maintains his innocence and intends to appeal the convictions.
Judge Keown imposed a sentence of four months custody, along with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order to last five years.
Kitchener was released on £500 bail pending appeal. The appeal was listed for last Thursday but has been adjourned until September.