Secret hideout for paedophile
OWNERS of a Weston guesthouse were made to sign a secrecy agreement to protect a convicted paedophile who was covertly staying at the premises
OWNERS of a Weston guesthouse were made to sign a secrecy agreement to protect a convicted paedophile who was covertly staying at the premises.The sex offender, who is in his early 20s but cannot be named, was being housed at one of the town's guesthouses close to the seafront. But as soon as the owners discovered his sordid past they demanded that the authorities moved him somewhere else. They have now been made to sign a secrecy agreement to protect the offender.Outraged residents have hit out at news they were living next door to a convicted paedophile. A young mother who lives next door with her nine-year-old, three-year-old and baby of just 10 weeks is fuming that nobody was made aware of the dangers they could have been in. She said: "My eldest often plays in our back garden which is overlooked by the guesthouse. We have a dog, so I wouldn't be worried about anyone entering the garden, but he could have been watching my children playing.""I am sure the landlord would not have been aware that he was a paedophile and I really cannot understand why the authorities would let him stay here. "We have several primary schools in this area, parks and a lot of young families. The guesthouse is also near a pub where a lot of people go with their children. "To find out someone like this was staying next door is horrible. It is a silly place to put him. "If we had been told he would be living next door I would have spoken to the police and asked why he was living in this area. Then I would have warned the guesthouse owners."The Weston & Somerset Mercury understands that the man, who moved to Weston in December 2006, asked the police for help when he became worried about vigilantes finding out where he lived and attacking him. It has been claimed several new homes were considered for the paedophile around Weston and Worle but Avon and Somerset Probation Services say it is not now dealing with the man, which means he is being housed elsewhere. A number of agencies are involved in re-housing offenders, including the police, probation services, local councils, and housing authorities.Each individual is housed differently, depending on their background and previous convictions. A Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA) is in place to make sure that once a sex offender is housed, they are constantly monitored to make sure people living in the area are protected. Risk assessments are carried out to decide whether or not the person is likely to re-offend and protect them from vigilantes. A police spokesman said: "People often back campaigns to introduce naming and shaming, but if we did that, sex offenders would be driven underground and we would be unable to monitor them. As long as we know where they live we can supervise them and make sure they are not a risk to neighbours.