A CHILD rapist worked for several years at gymnastics schools across South Wales after being released from custody, a court heard.

Newport man Darren Sewell, 27, was banned from being in contact with children as part of a sex offender's order imposed upon him when released.

Sewell, now of no fixed abode, was jailed in March 1999 after being convicted of four counts of rape of a boy under 16 in Barry.

He served three years in a young offenders' institution and was ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Sewell, a keen gymnast, began coaching at gymnastics clubs in Cardiff and Swansea.

Prosecutor Jonathan Bushell said Sewell, a drag queen at Cardiff nightclub Minsky's, worked as a tumble coach and taught gymnastics and dance at a number of clubs, which brought him into contact with children as young as nine.

The court heard no-one at any of the gymnastics clubs knew of his past of the order he was subject to over the three-year duration he was working there.

In September 2010, Gwent Police got a tip-off he had breached his order and began investigating - finding gymnastics pictures of him and children from various clubs on his Facebook account.

Defending Sewell, who pleaded guilty to breaching a sex offender's order, Simon Goodman said there was no suggestion of inappropriate behaviour or unnecessary contact between Sewell and the children.

He said Sewell's motivation was "a love of gym and gymnastics" and he no longer has any sexual interest in young children.

Sentencing Sewell to a three-year sex offender's treatment programme, a 24-month supervision order, 300 hours unpaid work and an electronically tagged six-month curfew between 8pm and 8am, judge David Wynn Morgan said could this order have been done within 18 months, he would have jailed him, but a 36 month jail term would have been "excessive" for this offence.