Paedophile’s return home sparks panic
PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 March 2011
PANIC-STRICKEN neighbours of a ‘sick’ paedophile caught befriending children with cakes and sweets say they are horrified he will be released back into their community in just three weeks.
PANIC-STRICKEN neighbours of a ‘sick’ paedophile caught befriending children with cakes and sweets say they are horrified he will be released back into their community in under three weeks.
For more than a year, convicted paedophile Andrew Fox violated the trust of unsuspecting families in Kewstoke, befriending them through deliveries of food and drink, and often handing out gifts to their children.
They were unaware 47-year-old had been banned from mixing with children by a court after being convicted of gross indecency with a young boy in 2008.
This meant many welcomed Fox into their homes when he arrived in his van - falsely decked out with the logo of Somerfield supermarket - and allowed him to befriend their children.
Fox, who later admitted to police he was attracted to ‘boys in shiny shorts’, was eventually caught breaching his sexual offences prevention order after he was spotted talking to children last May, and has been held behind bars since.
But this week, the families learned the Manor Gardens resident will be released from prison in just 20 days - despite admitting in court he had broken the order four times.
On Friday, Fox was sentenced to 18 months in jail at Bristol Crown Court, but with a large portion of the sentence already served on remand, he will be free to return home in three weeks - much to the anger of residents.
One mother, who has a four-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl, said Fox would call at her home and give gifts, including Superman and Fireman costumes, to her children.
She said: “I feel absolutely violated by everything which happened and disgusted he could be let out so soon.
“He took us in as friends and my children were exposed to him without me even knowing he was a paedophile.
“When he comes out how many more children will it take for judges to take this seriously?”
Another couple, whose five-year-old daughter was often left alone in their front room with Fox, say plan to move away from the area.
The mother told how she found Fox ‘strange’ but often invited him into their house for coffee while her daughter was around, sometimes in just a nightgown.
She said: “When I was told he was coming out so soon I turned into a panic and became scared for my little girl.
“It’s sick that he was able to talk to all the children here and we just want to get away from it all. We’re moving for a fresh start.
“The whole thing has changed me, I used to say hello to people, be welcoming, but now I feel like I can’t trust anyone.”
At Bristol Crown Court, it was heard how Fox operated a black-market business, using fake Somerfield vans to sell out-of-date food to people in and around Weston.
He was eventually caught breaching his order after he was spotted selling crisps to young boys in Bristol last May.
Prosecuting, Kirsty Real, said he told police: “I have this problem but I don’t want anyone knowing about it.”
A search of his home address uncovered many newspaper cuttings of youth football teams, boys’ football shirts and swimming trunks.
Mitigating, Giles Nelson, said Fox knew what he had done was wrong, but disputed he had been ‘grooming’ the children.
Speaking directly to the judge, Fox said: “I believe God is on my side and he is my last judge.”
Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said what he had done had caused the families to feel ‘violated and insecure’.
He said: “You have pleaded that this was not sexually motivated but it is undoubtedly the case that you must have taken pleasure at providing the goods to the children.”
The judge, who fixed him with a continuous sexual offence order, warned him that if he breached the order again he would face a longer prison term.