Jailed sex offender revealed offences following polygraph
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A registered sex offender jailed last week for nine years admitted his offences following work by our team carrying out polygraph examinations.
Thomas Eastwood, 28, was sentenced last week after admitting a number of charges including rape and assault by touching relating to offences which took place between 2006 and 2011.
As a registered sex offender, Thomas had been managed by our Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders team (MOSOVO) which monitor and risk assess sexual and violent offenders prior to, after their release, from prison to reduce the risk they pose to the public.
As part of this work, Eastwood, of no fixed address, undertook a polygraph through which he disclosed details of the abuse which took place.
This information was shared with our Child Abuse Investigation Team which approached the victim and she confirmed the details of what had taken place.
We are one of only six forces around the country which uses polygraph testing and have been using it successfully for a number of years.
Detective Inspector Nathan Hutchinson, from MOSOVO, said: “It is a fantastic tool and tactic to gather information to provide an accurate assessment of the risk of re-offending and allows us to manage the risk posed by convicted sex offenders.
“A polygraph examination is not a lie-detector test but examines the psychological responses to a series of questions we ask and the issues around these.
“It’s carried out in three stages: an interview, followed by the polygraph test, and a post-test discussion.
“We have seen some participants tell us about reoffending during the pre-test interview and others make admissions after undergoing the polygraph.
“Through polygraph testing, many offenders have admitted further offences or breaches of preventative orders, which have triggered investigations that are ongoing.
“We have also seen some admit that they may have potential contact with children, which has allowed us to directly intervene and keep people safe.
“In the case of Thomas Eastwood, the abuse he admitted to may not have come to light without the polygraph examination unless the victim had decided to report it in the future.
“We can’t force people to take part unless it forms part of a court order and the results of a polygraph test can’t be used as evidence in court but the benefits are that it shows they are willing to engage and cooperate with the authorities, and it can prevent us relying on more intrusive methods of monitoring.”