August 2011

Convicted paedophile Dean Freeman, 24, was jailed for ten years for sexually assaulting a schoolboy in a public toilet in the town.

A paedophile assaulted a seven-year-old boy in a  McDonald’s toilet after a string of blunders by the authorities.

Dean Freeman, 24, had been freed months earlier having served  just half of a five-year and eight-month sentence for abducting a  ten-year-old boy.

In a disastrous error, he was housed in a controversial bail hostel on a residential estate close to two primary schools.

And he was supposed to be monitored by the probation service and police. Yet he was still able to carry out his disgusting attack during the Easter school holidays.

Last night, parents repeated previous calls for Felmores Bail Hostel, in  Pitsea, Essex, to be closed down. It  houses serious sex offenders and  a string of inhabitants have  committed offences against women and children.

Basildon Crown Court heard on Thursday that Freeman went into the town’s centre on April 15 and visited a McDonald’s which was full of schoolchildren.

He lured his seven-year-old victim into a toilet and forced the terrified child to perform a sex act.

Freeman admitted causing or inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity. He also admitted breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed by Basildon Crown Court in September 2008.

This banned him from communicating with any child under the age of 16.

Judge Ian Graham adjourned sentencing for reports and remanded Freeman in custody.

The bail hostel opened in 1978 despite local opposition and is situated close to both Felmores and Northlands Park primary schools.

Christine Tuohy, 58, who lives two houses away, said: ‘It should be closed down, I just can’t see why it is on an estate where the houses are all on top of each other and the area is full of children.

‘Any sane person would not have put it here. The inmates may be on a curfew which stops them going out at night, but that doesn’t stop them. The paedophiles watch the children from their windows. When my children were younger I always watched them when they went out to play. All the parents around here are the same – we are all terrified.

The Multi-Agency Public Protection Agency (MAPPA), comprising police and probation officers,  is responsible for monitoring  convicted offenders there. A spokesman for Essex MAPPA said: ‘This is an appalling offence and, as in any case where a serious offence is committed, a full review of the management of the individual is undertaken.

‘Until the results are known, it will not be possible for Essex Police or Essex Probation to comment.’