June 2006

Sex offender housed in family hotel

A convicted paedophile was released from jail and put up in a budget family hotel.

Sex offender Peter Wilson stayed at the Premier Travel Inn in Polegate, East Sussex, because the Probation Service could not find anywhere else to put him.

Wilson, 58, was convicted of sexual offences against young boys. He served two-thirds of an eight-year sentence and was released on Friday as he was due for parole.

The Probation Service houses freed sex offenders in “approved premises”, usually hostels, but there were no spaces available.

Sussex has one approved premises, in Brighton.

A Probation Service spokesman said: “When the time came on Friday there was no place available. “This was the option left to us.”

Wilson stayed at the hotel from Friday to Wednesday. Hotel staff were not informed that one of their guests was a sex offender.

Probation staff and police carried out a joint risk assessment of the hotel before Wilson was sent there. The absence of communal areas, and the fact that the hotel was on a bypass and not near schools or playgrounds, was considered favourable.

The Probation Service spokesman said: “The situation we were put in was an extremely difficult one.

“We couldn’t find the accommodation required to deal with him, although we tried every conceivable avenue.

“As soon as another place became available on Wednesday he was escorted to another premises.”