‘Useful’ meeting held over housing of Newry sex offenders, insists Casey

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Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Local Sinn Fein Councillor Charlie Casey has described a meeting over the housing of two sex offenders as ‘informative and useful’.

Writing on the wall: Writing which appeared overnight on a house alleged to be where the two men lived

The meeting was arranged after it emerged last week through a Sunday Life newspaper exposé that two dangerous sex offenders were living in close proximity to Our Lady’s Grammar School in a house believed to be in the Erskine Street area. Following the Sunday Life revelations furious and worried parents took to Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration and the words ‘paedo out’ were daubed on the alleged house of the two offenders overnight, forcing the two men to be rehoused. The Sunday Life article stated, “A rapist and his sex attacker pal are shacked up together in a Newry house just yards from the gates of a top girl’s grammar school. “Parents of pupils there have no idea that living just yards away from its gates are two sex offenders who the police consider so dangerous that they subjected them to court orders.” According to the Sunday Life, both men were given a five year Sexual Offences Prevention Order after a recent appearance at Newry Courthouse. The two men, who are originally from Latvia, were pictured in the exposé. As a result of the article Our Lady’s Grammar School took the unprecendented step of sending out a letter (pictured right) to worried parents to reassure them of the safety of their children. As a result of the furore, Sinn Fein Councillor Charlie Casey held a meeting involving PPANI (Public Protection Arrangements NI) CRJ, the PSNI and community representatives. The meeting took place on Thursday 28th November and Councillor Casey described it as ‘informative and useful’.

Our Lady’s Grammar School sent a letter out to worried parents after the Sunday Life article

Speaking to Newry Times, Casey explained, “There has been a lot of genuine concern among the people of this area regarding the fact that these men were placed in this community without any notification to local residents. “I attended this meeting to try to get a sense of what the correct processes and procedures are in these difficult circumstances. “I found the meeting useful as it clarified the responsibilities of the police and it gave the representative from PPANI the opportunity to explain their role in managing the risks posed by certain sexual and violent offenders when they are released from prison into the community. Casey added, “Following this meeting my colleague Mickey Brady MLA is submitting a question to the Justice Minister to get a better understanding of what information local people can access regarding offenders being situated in their communities.” More on this story: Newry sex offenders moved after newspaper exposé
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