October 2006

Pervert allowed to live near victim

A DEVASTATED teenager and her family are distraught after the paedophile convicted of abusing her moved back in to the house opposite.

The 15-year-old said she breaks down in tears every morning and refuses to be at home alone after her attacker moved just 40ft away.

John Warren, 59, a building worker, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual activity with the schoolgirl last month at Chelmsford Crown Court.

He was given a three year supervision order and has to attend a sex offenders’ course. He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for five years

However, following sentencing the courts did not put any restriction on where the pervert lived.

His victim’s family are outraged he was able to move back to the same house in Braintree where he abused his young neighbour, who was 14 at the time of the attack.

The distraught victim said: “I won’t be in the house by myself. I feel it is disgusting that he is allowed to come back here.”

The schoolgirl lives across the road from Warner’s three-bedroom home, where he lived for 20 years with his wife until they split up three years ago. His house is also close to a children’s play area.

The victim’s family has known ex-photographer Warren for years. The incident happened at his home, but her mother said she managed to stamp on Warren’s toe and escape.

The GCSE student, who wants to be a vet, managed to pluck up the courage to tell her parents the following day and went to the police.

While waiting for the court case the family was told Warren was on bail living in Witham, Chelmsford

and another part of Braintree. He was not allowed to approach the victim.

In September he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child at Chelmsford Crown Court and was given three year supervision order. Three days ago he moved back into his £160,000 semi-detached home in Braintree, less than 40 ft away from his victim’s home.

Her mother said: “We were meant to be told when he was being sentenced but we didn’t know anything about it. If I had been there I would have stood up and told them he lives opposite us. It’s too close.

“My daughter woke up, opened her curtains and saw him outside his house. She has been crying ever since.”

The worried parents are now considering civil proceedings to force their daughter’s attacker to move.

Warren, who says he teaches dancing, has been barred from teaching anyone under 18 without supervision.

Speaking from his home, Warren said he could not understand why he should move and said he was “baffled” by the family’s concerns.

He said: “That’s my home and I have lived here all my life. I don’t think I have been insensitive.

“It’s been blown out of all proportion. It was just a kiss and a cuddle. Everyone keeps asking if I’m going to move. I don’t have any plans to move at the moments, I’m doing up my house. Other people in the street have been fine with me.”

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said the courts were powerless to impose any restrictions on Warren.

He said: “The judge could not have imposed restrictions. When on bail you can impose conditions. But there is nothing within the law for this type of offence to stop the defendant moving back near the victim.

“Neither the CPS nor the court have any leeway.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Anyone on the sex offenders’ register will be monitored by police.”