Retired teacher breached terms of sex offenders register

Francis Stroud was jailed but freed because of time served on remand
Francis Stroud was jailed but freed because of time served on remand

A retired vice principal and convicted sex offender who breached the sex offenders register was jailed for two months yesterday.

While 71-year-old Francis Noel Stroud was handed the jail term at Lisburn Magistrates’ Court where he appeared via video link from prison, he was freed later because of time served on remand.

Stroud, originally from the Dunmurry area of west Belfast but now of no fixed abode, had entered guilty pleas to two breaches of the sex offenders register on November 7 last year in that he failed to notify police of a change in circumstances and failed to make an annual report of his name, address and date of birth.

The court heard how Stroud, who was a maths teacher and vice principal at Hunter House College, was evicted for non-payment of rent and had moved to a Belfast hostel but failed to tell police.

He should have informed them of any change of circumstance within three days but instead, it was his probation officer who informed police on the fifth day.

The breaches of the sex offenders register came a little under two weeks before Stroud escaped going to prison with a suspended jail term but was ordered to pay a victim £5,000 in compensation.

Stroud had confessed to indecently assaulting a female on a date unknown between September 1 and December 31 1994.

At the time of that offence Stroud was vice principal of the south Belfast school.

And in October 2014 Stroud walked free from court with a two-year probation order after an allegation of sexual assault was replaced by an harassment offence.

Originally charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl on dates between February 1 and April 20 2011, Stroud instead pleaded guilty to harassing the girl.