Paedophile ‘too close’ to victim

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CALLS have been made for a convicted paedophile to be thrown out of Wigan after he was allowed to live close to his young victim.

Pensioner William James was freed from prison earlier this year after serving time for molesting a boy of 12.

And the youngster and his family have been horrified to discover that, not only is he living just a couple of miles from them, but also that James’s house is just round the corner from a relative that the boy visits weekly.

He has also been seen at the Asda supermarket the family uses, the boy (now 14) spotted James at the DW Stadium fair the other week and, most disturbingly, it is alleged he was seen hanging around inside the Wacky Warehouse children’s indoor play area recently.

When the now 76-year-old James was handed a 20-month sentence at Liverpool Crown Court in February last year the judge told him that the assault would leave the youngster psychologically scarred for the rest of his life.

And a relative today said that the boy was now frightened to go out after his near-encounter with his abuser at the fair.

James attacked his victim in an alleyway, just yards from pensioner’s then home in Rose Avenue, Beech Hill.

He grabbed the youngster’s arms and pushed them behind his back, and then began molesting him. The boy tried struggling, but James was too strong.

As well as imprisoning James, who had pleaded guilty to sexual assault, Judge David Aubrey made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for seven years, banning him from the company of children, and also ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.

James’s defending barrister described the assault as “an opportunistic offence which was short-lived”.

But there are clearly great fears of re-offending among the boy’s family.

An aunt said today: “It is ridiculous that this man can be allowed to live in Wigan, particularly in an area like Norley where my nephew visits one of his aunties every week.

“It gave the boy a real scare to see James at the fair the other day and he has been too frightened to go out since.

“Someone like James should be kept away from children so what is he doing at the fair and the Wacky Warehouse?

“Sex offenders, once let out of prison, shouldn’t be allowed back to the town where they committed their crimes.”

A spokeswoman for Manchester Probation Trust said: “We cannot disclose specific details on individual offenders, however, we can confirm that William James is being supervised on licence by Greater Manchester Probation Trust.

“When offenders are released from prison on a licence they have a number of licence conditions which they must abide by.

“Licence conditions may include a curfew to control their movements, a requirement to attend programmes aimed at controlling offending behaviour, a restriction from visiting certain places (exclusion zone) or a requirement to reside at an agreed address.

“Offenders who breach any of their restrictions can be recalled to prison quickly to serve a further custodial sentence or be given a separate community sentence.

“These measures serve to reduce the risk of re-offending, minimise the opportunities to re-offend, protect the public and rehabilitate offenders.

“It is the responsibility of the probation officer to ensure that an offender they are supervising on licence resides at an acceptable address which protects the victim as far as reasonably possible.

“In this case the offender is excluded from certain areas where he may come into contact with the victim. The extent of the exclusion zone has to be reasonable, however. We cannot plan for all eventualities, but we aim to protect communities as best we can.”