CALLS were today made to “name and shame” all paedophiles in Blackpool – despite police attempts to protect their anonymity to prevent vigilante attacks.
It comes after a convicted sex offender was allowed to keep his new address secret after he was run out of town when his previous home was fire bombed.
Kenneth Grant was convicted of sexual offences against a seven-year-old in 2009 and was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
But this week, the 21-year-old was back in court after police were told he had since taken a 10-year-old to bed with him and had had an improper relationship with a vulnerable 15-year-old girl.
Police asked for an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order on Grant, and also applied for his name and address to be left out of court reports.
Campaigners for victims of paedophiles today hit out at the police’s actions.
June Gillbanks, whose daughter Donna Marie was raped and murdered by Miss Gillbanks’ brother Peter Chester-Speakman in her Blackpool home, said: “They should all be named and shamed. The public should know.
“I can’t understand why the police would do that – I’m surprised. Why are they protecting such dangerous people?
“People should be aware of their names and where they live so they can protect their children.”
District Judge Jeff Brailsford, sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court, handed Grant an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
It will last for three months, during which time Grant must not have contact with or work with children.
An application for a full SOPO can then be made.
Judge Brailsford was told Grant’s previous home in central Blackpool had been attacked by vigilantes who threw a vodka bottle full of petrol through the front window of his property.
He agreed Grant’s new address – which is out of the area – be kept a secret but turned down an application from Lancashire Police and Grant’s defence lawyer, Peter Dave, that he should not be named in court reports.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “Our priority is protecting the public from sex offenders, especially those who abuse children. We have been able to bring this offender to justice and also secure an interim Sexual Offences Prevention Order meaning he cannot come into contact with or work with children.
“When sex offenders are released into our communities we have to manage the risk and the potential consequences.
“Acts of retribution can force offenders to go to ground meaning it becomes increasingly difficult for us to manage them.
“Given the past events surrounding this offender, for the safety of everyone, it was determined an application be made to the court to restrict the publication of his name and address.”
Peter Bradley, deputy director for Kidscape, a charity which protects children, said: “The authorities keep a very close eye on paedophiles in this country.
“What we don’t want is reprisals from the public and the reason why the address and identity of sex offenders are generally anonymous is to ensure the public don’t cause the sex offender to go underground.
“If this guy was forced out of an area and went underground it would be very difficult for the authorities to keep an eye on him.”