February 2015

Strathroy residents ‘distressed’ at convicted sex offender’s return


RESIDENTS in the Strathroy area of Omagh are said to be “horrified and distressed” that a convicted sex offender has returned to the area.

A local councillor has appealed for “calm” after an attack on the man’s home on Tuesday night.

Earlier that day in the Magistrates Court, it emerged that Frank Mitchell is a convicted sex offender as he was made subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) for five years at the request of the Chief Constable.

The 72-year-old from Dunbreen Close, Strathroy is facing allegations, dating back to 1986, of sexually abusing young boys. In 1973 Mitchell was convicted of indecently assaulting a female.

The order imposed this week prohibits him from having any contact or communication with children or young persons under 16 years unless with prior approval of a designated risk manager and social services in writing.

He must also obtain prior approval to reside or stay overnight at any other address without permission and is barred from having any young person under 16 years in his home.

He currently stands accused of carrying out 11 sex offences dating back to 1986.

The charges, which concern five male victims, include eight counts of indecent assault between January 1986 and December 2007, two counts of committing an act of gross indecency with a child between 2005 and 2007 and a single count of sexually assaulting a male between March 2012 and January 2013.

Two other charges of charges of raping two young boys in the town in September last year have been dropped.

Last week he was granted bail under strict conditions. A local woman, who did not wish to be named, said residents in the area are “distressed” that Mitchell is back in Strathroy and was scathing of the authorities for not telling the community of his imminent return.

She told the UH, “It is sickening, we weren’t given any notice. No-one here is happy about this.” The concerned mother added that the conditions of the SOPO handed down by the court were of no reassurance. She added, “ He should be put in a hostel or some area where there are no vulnerable people. We feel very uncomfortable. I got the shock of my life when I saw him back again.”