A TOP detective has thanked Gazette readers for their help in putting a dangerous paedophile back behind bars.
Missing sex offender Dean Barnes disappeared from his address on Layton Road, Layton, in November last year – prompting police to ask The Gazette to help track him down.
Police said the 50-year-old, who had been jailed for three years for sexual offences on a girl under the age of 13, posed a “risk to the public” and had breached the Sexual Offences Act by failing to tell them where he was living.
Barnes pleaded guilty to failing to comply with notification requirements after he was found living with a woman, who was apparently unaware of his past.
He was this week jailed for 10 months at Preston Crown Court.
Det Insp Tony Baxter, of Blackpool’s Public Protection Unit, said: “As a direct result of information from a Gazette reader, a dangerous man is off the street.
“He had moved without telling us and had started a relationship with a woman who had children.
“When people have a condition of residence and they don’t keep us informed, that always poses us with a worry and heightens his risk.”
Barnes, who was born in London, was sentenced to three years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court in 2006 after he was convicted of sexual assault on a child, abduction and possession of indecent images.
He was arrested in Blackpool in August 2010 for failing to register his address following his release from custody and received a suspended prison sentence and two-year supervision requirement.
Blackpool police officers would then visit the paedophile every three months.
The court was told the last visit to his Layton Road home was in August last year.
But when police showed up at his address in November there was no answer and they realised he had moved.
An appeal was printed in The Gazette in December and a couple of days later he was spotted on Corporation Street in Blackpool and arrested on December 12.
Det Insp Baxter added: “It was as a result of someone reading The Gazette, recognising him and reporting him to the police.
“We are pleased a member of the public was able to help.”
During police interview Barnes said he had been staying with the woman, who he had formed a relationship with, for around two months.
When she was spoken to the woman said she was unaware of his history and ended the relationship.
Janet Ironfield, defending, told the court: “He didn’t leave his home in order to offend or gain access to children.
“It was done to try to get temporary relief from financial difficulties.
“He had lost his job and had £1,500 in rent arrears.
“He wanted to make a go of the relationship and felt that if she found out early on about his past, the relationship wouldn’t stand a chance.
“The defendant had not sought to disappear from sight. He kept in contact with the probation service, albeit they didn’t know where he was living. He is sorry for the trouble he caused”.
Barnes has now been given seven month’s prison for failing to notify the police of a change in his circumstances. He was given another three months for breaching an earlier suspended sentence for a similar offence.
Judge Norman Wright told Barnes: “You well understand the importance of notification requirements and the reason they are in place.
“They are one of a number of tools used by the authorities to lessen the risk you might present to children.
“It’s a simple matter to go along to the police station and tell them where you are living.
“You kept it secret.
“It’s an extremely serious offence.”