A PAEDOPHILE has been taken OFF the Sex Offenders Register for the first time — sparking fears that thousands of perverts could soon be free to roam Britain unchecked.
George St Angeli, 71, became the first convicted sex beast to have his name removed from the national database after winning a landmark court ruling.
His victory means police will no longer be able to track his moves, leaving him free to go wherever he likes. And experts fear it will pave the way for countless other paedophiles and rapists to be removed from the register.
St Angeli was jailed for five years in 1993 for sex offences against two young girls over a five-year period. He was freed on parole in 1996, then in 1997 put on the new Sex Offenders Register.
Police last year rejected his application to have his name removed. But married St Angeli won an appeal at Leeds Magistrates’ Court last week as District Judge Christopher Darnton over-ruled police objections.
Andrew Garthwaite, representing police, told the court: “He exploited connections to commit very serious crimes against a girl who ultimately had her life destroyed.”
Judge Darnton said: “The order has now served its purpose and I cannot see any benefit in it remaining.”
Retired St Angeli, who served in the military as a warrant officer, said after the ruling: “This will give me the freedom to travel if I need to, to go on holiday with my wife.
“It will give me peace of mind, it’s a great weight off my shoulders.”
St Angeli’s lawyer Nicholas Clough told the court his client fulfilled every condition needed to be taken off the register, and it was pointless keeping him on it as he was only visited once a year for a “chat”.
After the case, Mr Clough predicted the “vast majority” of offenders would fail in their attempts to be taken off the register.
The register was introduced to help police keep track of sex offenders after their release from prison. Those jailed for more than 30 months were registered for life.
But in 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that offenders must be able to appeal to be removed 15 years after their release from jail.
Nearly 30,000 perverts on the register have abused a child, and almost 1,000 have committed further paedophile acts while on the database. The Government estimates that up to 1,200 offenders a year will be able to apply to be removed.