Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Paedo accused of stalking play parks despite court ban

Paul Kerr

This is the convicted paedophile warned to stay away from children — caught lurking around kiddies’ play parks at a top Ulster resort.

Preying pervert Paul Kerr was in court last week accused of stalking playgrounds in spite of a banning order warning him to stay away from tots.

Kerr (35), from west Belfast, could face up to five years in jail if he is convicted of breaching the Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

The Sopo — introduced by the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to manage sex-offenders — was slapped on Kerr at Belfast Magistrates Court last July.

The orders can be taken out against convicted sex-offenders either at the time of their conviction or at a later date.

They are used by the agencies who operate under the Masram arrangements to try to manage the risk posed by the sex-offenders who are believed to be a medium or high risk to the public.

While they remain under the terms of a Sopo, convicted paedophiles have to sign the PSNI’s sex-offenders register.

Under its terms of the order made against him, Kerr was banned from contact with children under 17 and to avoid contact with any other known sex-offenders.

He was also banned from public places where children might gather and is specifically banned from schools and play parks.

However, within weeks of the order being made against him, Kerr was caught lurking near a kiddies’ play park in Co Down.

The paedophile was reported to have been hanging around the children’s adventure playground at Downs Road in Newcastle.

When Sunday Life approached Kerr after his brief appearance at Downpatrick Magistrates Court last week he refused to discuss the order against him — or his alleged breaches. He is due back before a district judge again later this week.

cmcguigan@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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