August 2021

Child rapist befriended mums in Torbay

Parents who were befriended by a 74-year-old pensioner were horrified when they discovered he was a convicted child rapist.

John Chalker offered to give the mother of a three-year-old boy lifts and chatted to the two children of a second woman without revealing his past.

He broke an order to stay away from all children through his contact with the youngsters in Torquay.

Chalker was still on licence for child rape offences after being jailed for 11 years in 2009 when he broke the terms of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) by his contact with the families.

Officers from the police’s public protection team became suspicious after finding that parents of young children were listed among his friends of his Facebook page.

They traced the two mothers, who had no idea about his past or the order and were said to be sickened and anxious when they learned the truth.

Chalker, aged 74, of Melville Lane, Torquay, admitted two breaches of a SOPO and was ordered to do 30 days of rehabilitation activities and attend a sexual offenders’ treatment programme under a three year community order by Recorder Mr Donald Tait at Exeter Crown Court.

He told him that the intensive supervision by probation officers and monitoring by police offered the best prospect of protecting the public.

He said: ”My principal concern is the protection of the public and young people from you. I consider you to be a potentially dangerous individual, so far as children are concerned.

“If this order is breached, then you will be brought straight back here and there will be only one alternative, which will be prison.”

Mr Lee Bremridge, said police began investigating possible contact with children after a check on Chalker’s Facebook page during a routine check-up.

It resulted in his offender manager tracing a friend who revealed he had given her and her toddler son lifts without making the disclosure about his previous record which was required by the SOPO.

A mother who lived nearby was also traced and told police that Chalker had spoken to her and her sons, aged seven and nine, as they passed his house, chatting to the boys about football.

Both mothers said they would not have allowed any contact if they had known about Chalker’s past or the SOPO and were horrified, sickened and anxious when they found out.

One said she had seen him as ‘a pillar of the community’ until she was visited by the police.