Reports of sex offender sighting in Whitby

Geoffrey Mark Ball
Geoffrey Mark Ball

POLICE searching for a violent sex offender are investigating reports he might have been seen in Whitby.

The most recent sighting of Geoffrey Ball, aged 41, was last Tuesday (May 21) in the town centre area.

He failed to register with Cleveland police, the area which he is from, and is now wanted for breach of the notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

He was convicted of an indecent assault of a female over 16 in 1989 and received six months in custody. He was then jailed for five weeks in 2010 for sexual assault on an adult female and placed on the Sex Offenders Register until 2017 for this offence.

Members of the public are being warned not to approach him as he also has convictions for violence, including a conviction for GBH in 2006, for which he received four years in custody.

He is known to be a regular user of social media sites and seeks to make contact with people on these sites.

When he was spotted in Whitby it is believed he was wearing a navy blue hooded top, blue jeans and white trainers. He has also been seen in a black padded jacket.

Detective Inspector Kath Barber from Cleveland Police’s Public Protection Unit said: “We would like to thank members of the public for the response that we have had to our appeals so far.

“We’d ask that the public continue to contact us should they have any information regarding his whereabouts or should they think they may have seen this man.

“Clearly these reports suggest that he is travelling out of the Cleveland area.

“Mr Ball has got previous convictions for violence which is why we would advise members of the public if they see him, not to approach him, but to call police immediately on 999.

“I would particularly urge people to be vigilant around social media sites as he uses them to make contact with people he doesn’t know.

“We are concerned because our officers take a proactive approach to managing offenders in the community and it is rare that we do not know where they are. We are therefore keen to trace Mr Ball as soon as possible and would ask that anyone with information contacts us.”