Paedophile Threat ‘Is Mob Rule’

Death threats have been made to a convicted paedophile living in the Antrim area, it has emerged. The threats, allegedly made by loyalist paramilitaries, were condemned as “mob rule” by Alliance Party leader David Ford, who is a councillor in the town. The man was jailed for six months last year. Released in April, he was fined £750 last month for failing to sign the Sex Offenders Register.

Mr Ford said exiling such an offender could “increase the risk to children”. He said he did not believe the majority of people in the community wanted to see death threats issued “however heinous the crimes that people have engaged in”.

“There are small groups of people who have taken it on themselves to act as judge and jury. We need to ensure that if this society is to ever move forward, then ordinary people depend on the appropriate agencies.” He added: “It is absolutely clear that the fact this boy was back in court that something was being done.”

Ken Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Progressive Unionist Party, in Antrim said he would not condone threats to anyone. “I have spoken to people on the ground and this seems to be coming from the community where this person lives,” he said.

“This is a community that has been ripped apart from fear. It is a fear that this young man, who went into prison for sexually assaulting a four-year-old little girl, came out of prison and failed to register on the sex (offenders’) register. It then took several months to take him back to court. Surely people have the right to know who is in their community and surely the authorities must follow this up – there are failings here.”