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Littlehampton neighbours threaten paedophile after return from prison
6:10am Tuesday 7th January 2014 in News
Violent threats have been made against a convicted sex offender who is believed to have returned to his home after serving half of an eight year prison sentence.
John Churchley was caught with 42,000 indecent images of children and was described as “predatory” and “dangerous” by police following his conviction in 2010.
Yesterday, residents living in the same street as Churchley's former home in Littlehampton confirmed he was back at the address and went on to name and shame him on a Facebook page.
They claim they are angry they weren't informed about his return to the property which is just half a mile from Wickbourne Infant and Nursery Community School.
Company director Churchley was arrested in 2009, then aged 56, after police discovered his involvement in a paedophile ring in Scotland.
As well as tens of thousands of indecent pictures, investigators discovered Churchley had been helping to arrange, take part in and photograph the abuse of teenage boys in the Bognor area. He also admitted four counts of sexual activity with a child.
The Argus made attempts to speak to Churchley at the address yesterday but there was no answer.
Those in nearby homes said they were not too concerned with his return despite the threats of vigilantism posted online.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “I don't like the idea of him living here but I wouldn't harm the bloke and I certainly don't agree with people making threats against him on the internet.
“There was complete shock in the neighbourhood when we first heard about him, you don't expect it on your doorstep.”
A mother-of-three living in the street said: “I think there are just so many of them that they have to live somewhere.
“I would have preferred to know if he's here so that if kids are playing out on the green, I would take a little bit more notice about what is going on.”
The release of Churchley is being handled through a Multi-Agency Public Protection (MAPA) Arrangements between police, probation, the prison service and other partners.
A MAPA spokeswoman said that all release addresses are assessed for potential risk from offender to the public and from the public to an offender and this risk is subject to review.
Under Sarah's Law, which was created following the murder of Sarah Payne whose body was found in a Pulborough field after she was killed by Roy Whiting in 2000, parents and guardians can ask the police if a person who has contact with children is a child sex offender.
The spokeswoman added: “There exists a range of powers under prison licence conditions, and registered sex offender requirements, depending on the individual case, which for example can impose strict conditions on access to communications devices, can require exclusion from particular areas and types of locality, and can prohibit contact with particular age groups or individuals.
“MAPPA panels will also consider the need to make disclosures to relevant parties in the community following a comprehensive risk assessment of each case.”
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