10/02/2017 11:43 SAST | Updated 10/02/2017 11:53 SAST

UK Child Sex Fugitive Banned From All Virgin Active Gyms In Southern Africa

Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

Fugitive Lee Tucker, who is wanted in the UK on 42 charges relating to paedophilia, has been blacklisted from all Virgin Active gyms in southern Africa.

It emerged on Monday that he would now exercise along the Sea Point promenade.

Tucker, out on R150 000 bail, had been a regular at the Green Point branch in Cape Town.

Virgin Active spokesperson Les Aupiais confirmed to News24 that the company had blacklisted him, effectively banning him for life from joining any club, "based on the serious nature of his crimes".

"Virgin Active runs family orientated health clubs throughout South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, and the health and safety, particularly of minor children, is of paramount importance to us," she said.

Tucker was arrested in March last year after a provisional arrest request from the UK.

He had been on the run for 15 years. Last year, he was declared a fugitive from justice.

Tucker was originally sentenced to eight years in prison by the Swindon Crown Court, South Wales, in 2001, but the sentence was overturned on a technicality and his retrial on 42 child sex charges was ordered.

2km running route okayed

His offences are alleged to have occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s and were detected as part of a paedophile ring in Bristol in 1998.

Part of his bail conditions include wearing a monitoring bracelet around his ankle, remaining at his Sea Point residence, and reporting to a police station daily.

On Monday, his defence had considered bringing an application to relax the conditions so he could exercise. The correctional services department had apparently wanted proof of a gym membership.

After a phone call to the department, the State agreed that Tucker could exercise at the open-air gym along the promenade, which is a popular place for families and athletes.

"He will not take his device off. He is going to try and tape it and run with it, whether it is uncomfortable or not," his lawyer Leon van der Merwe told the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

An estimated 2km running route from the gym to the Sea Point swimming pool would now be included in the areas where he was allowed to go after the court confirmed the agreement.

The court is awaiting the outcome of a similar extradition case heading to the Constitutional Court before proceeding with Tucker's hearing.

The case was postponed provisionally until February 28.