A SEX offender told two single mums he had to ‘slip under the radar’ because he had carried out sensitive work for the police and armed forces.

Craig Foster, 54, claimed to have been in the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment and said he had worked in child protection for the police when he formed relationships with the women in Barrow and Millom.

But he was really a paedophile who had spent time in prison for sexually assaulting a young boy and having unlawful sex with a teenage girl - and was banned from spending time with children indefinitely.

In 2013, Foster, was jailed for four years for using his then wife as 'bait' to lure a 14-year-old boy to their home where they sexually 'debauched' him in the late 1990s.

Yesterday, Preston Crown Court heard Foster, of Lindal Street, Barrow, used a false name when he started dating the first woman, who had two teenage daughters.

He would visit the house most evenings, often staying overnight and even helped decorate one of the children’s bedrooms.

When that relationship ended, he went on to have a relationship with another woman, who also had teenage children.

During a car trip from Millom to Barrow, Foster told one boy to hide when they passed a police car - claiming he was only insured to carry two passengers.

Judge Simon Medland QC, sentencing, said: “This shows manipulative and dishonest behaviour and a blatant disregard for the preventative parts of your order.”

Following his arrest the first woman said she felt betrayed and was horrified to learn she had let a paedophile into her home with access to her children.

Foster had formed a bond with the children and had even paid money into one of the girls’ bank accounts - although iIt is not thought he abused them in any way.

Judge Medland said Foster’s behaviour was so serious he had to send him straight back to prison, despite the court hearing Foster was terrified of a return to custody.

He said: “You claimed, in a very manipulative and dishonest way, that you needed to keep below the radar because of your previous occupation in the armed forces, which was rubbish.

“You were quite clear that you were not to be involved in taking any steps which breached the SOPO (Sexual Offences Prevention Order).

“That is exemplified by your lies, claiming to be part of sensitive armed forces and by asking the boy to hide from the police.”

Foster admitted two breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and was jailed for two years.