August 2005

He’s banned from being alone with children

A CONVICTED sex offender from Crewe has been banned from being alone with children.

Brian North, 51, of Alexandra Place, was made subject to the Sexual Offences Prevention Order at South Cheshire Magistrates court on Friday.

The court heard North described as a ‘predator’ who groomed young vulnerable children after striking up friendships with their mothers.

Prosecutor Sion ap Mihangel told how North was a ‘high-risk sex offender’ with a 20-year-history of abusing children under-14.

He described how North had first been convicted of indecency in 1972 and received a further probation order seven years later.

He was given a six-year jail term in 1997 for ten offences including indecent assault on children and was released in November 2000.

The order, which stops North from having any contact with children under 16 without supervision, was brought about following serious allegations of sexual grooming.

Child protection officer PC Louise Wynne told how North had failed to tell police of his contact with children since his release from prison, a breach of the sex offenders register.

She said he had been in regular contact with one Crewe family for more than two years and all three of the family’s children had made allegations of sexual assault.

PC Wynne described how North infiltrated families, targeting single mums who were struggling financially and who’s children were vulnerable.

She added: “I believe that in the first allegation I investigated, he had immersed himself in that family as if he was a legitimate member of that family.

“They trusted him and began to rely on him and he used that as a way of ingratiating himself further into that family and to possibly then abusing the children.”

Defending, Lisa Edmunds did not object to the order, but argued it should be restricted to five years.

But Deputy District Judge David Gostling said the order would be indefinite, adding: “The onus is on him to show he has changed.”

Police had applied for a gagging order to prevent North’s identification, claiming he would be subject to attacks, and could ‘go to ground’ and off their ‘radar’.

Judge Gostling rejected the application, saying: “I find the respondent to have behaved in a dangerous and predatory way over a long period of time.

“His recent concealment of unsupervised contact with children must give rise to suspicions of targeted grooming.”