May 18 2013 Latest news:
by Denise Roland
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Shockwaves are rippling through a community whose one-time local hero has been unmasked as a paedophile.
Gerald Ingram, once known as Crouch End’s “Gerry the book man”, was jailed for four years last Wednesday after admitting multiple sex offences against children.
Police are convinced he was planning to assault a child and distribute more depraved images of minors being abused on the very day they arrested him last May, Southwark Crown Court heard.
The news has left some of those who knew him feeling deeply betrayed.
One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I feel so angry as I’ve known him since we were both teenagers. It’s very hurtful that this has come to light.”
Ingram, of Priory Gardens, Highgate, garnered support in a six-month campaign to keep selling from his book stall outside Budgens in The Broadway, Crouch End, after it was banned by council officers.
The 63-year-old even threatened to go to the European Court of Human Rights after being convicted of trading without a licence.
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone and her Liberal Democrat colleagues championed Ingram’s cause, arguing for his stall to be treated as a special case as he did not engage in antisocial behaviour.
But eight years later, the man who captured the goodwill of the community was sentenced to three years and eight months in jail after pleading guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children, attempting to arrange or facilitate a child sex offence, and three counts of distributing indecent images of children – including images of the worst kinds of abuse.
Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, of the Metropolitan Police paedophile unit, said: “I am in no doubt that police intervention prevented Ingram accessing and sexually assaulting a child on the day of his arrest.”
He said the conviction reinforced the Met’s commitment to target “the most dangerous sex offenders.”
and protect the most vulnerable”.
But in a chilling warning, Det Ch Insp McHugh said Ingram “may have committed other offences,” adding: “I would therefore urge anyone who believes they may have been a victim to have the confidence to report the incident to police. We are here to support and protect you.”
- To get in touch, call the investigation team directly on 020 7161 3871, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, Childline on 0800 1111, or report the matter to your local police station, inform a teacher or trusted individual. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.