August 2010

Danger paedo ‘too costly to monitor’

A DANGEROUS paedophile has been ruled too pricey to keep tabs on after a surveillance operation by 20 cops cost taxpayers £200,000 in a month.

Officers have had to dramatically scale down their monitoring of vile Anthony Knowles, 49.

He has a 34-year record of abusing youngsters — and lives near three schools and a park.

But senior sources at Greater Manchester Police revealed the enormous bill for watching his movements since he left jail was “bringing the force to a standstill”.

One said: “Surveillance like this costs a fortune and it isn’t sustainable. But a decision to watch him was taken because there’s a real danger he will take another child. He is that dangerous.

“Why was he allowed out in the first place? If he’s so dangerous, wouldn’t it be better to keep him in prison?”

Knowles was freed from a Merseyside jail on June 29 after serving time for breaching the terms of his licence.

He is now living at a bail hostel in the Greater Manchester area.

Police class Knowles as a “high-risk” offender. He is on a lifetime Sex Offenders Protection Order, which bars him from drinking alcohol or having contact with any child under 17. He has been breathalysed three times a day and is subject to an 11pm to 9am curfew at the hostel.

The Northern Ireland-born pervert targeted vulnerable mothers to gain access to their children.

He has been jailed for offences against children aged 18 months to nine years and has absconded three times from bail hostels. 

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “We take our responsibilities to manage sex offenders very seriously.”

May 2006

Runaway pervert held in city centre

A SERIAL paedophile was arrested in Manchester city centre last night after a huge police manhunt.

Registered sex offender William Anthony Knowles, 44, was reported missing from a bail hostel in Bury when he failed to sign in at his curfew time on Tuesday. 

Knowles was on licence after being released early in December from a six-year sentence for kidnapping an eight-year-old girl and seven-year-old boy in Liverpool and one sex attack on an 18-month-old boy. He is also known to befriend single mothers to get close to their children. But despite his history as a sexual predator and warnings from parents that he would re-offend, Knowles was repeatedly released from jail to prey on children again. 

Police say he is a “high risk” offender with convictions for abducting a nine-year-old boy, abducting a seven-year-old boy and abusing a baby.

Knowles has been convicted seven times of indecency against children.

In 1997 he was jailed for 18 months for an offence of gross indecency against a young child in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Shortly after his release in 1998, he was arrested and convicted of attempting to abduct a seven-year-old boy in Redditch, Worcestershire.

He was jailed for four years after admitting abducting the boy, and his lawyer said he had led a “sad and disjointed life”.

He was released in 2001, but soon afterwards he went missing from a bail hostel in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, and was later found in Liverpool.