Parents 'fear for children's safety' after Gary Glitter is moved into Hampshire neighbourhood
A Hampshire couple says they've been left fearing for the safety of their children after the surprise arrival of convicted child sex offender Gary Glitter to their neighbourhood.
Lauren Burke and her husband Jonathan Wilson say they were "appalled" when they learned the disgraced pop star had been moved to a halfway house in Waterlooville, Hampshire, near Portsmouth.
The couple says they were not made aware of a Hampshire property to which sex offenders are moved for rehabilitation after their release from prison.
But when high profile paedophile Gary Glitter - his real name Paul Francis Gadd - was moved to the halfway house after his release from HMP The Verne in Portland, there was an 'outpouring of anger' which saw vigilantes try and gain access.
Jonathan said: “You hear rumours. But then we found out after we moved in for definite that the house was used for these people. Then, all of a sudden, his lordship arrived last week.
“Our children play in the woods which back on to their property, and we had to tell our kids like, don’t talk to them, don’t go near anyone there.
"Personally, I don’t like those sort of people full stop, the fact they’re slap bang in the middle of where we live, there are about six schools around here and all.A spokesperson for the Ministry for Justice, which oversees the probation service and recently-released offenders, said: "Sex offenders like Paul Gadd are closely monitored by the police and Probation Service and face some of the strictest licence conditions including being fitted with a GPS tag.
"If the offender breaches these conditions at any point, they can go back behind bars.
"We've already introduced tougher sentences for the worst offenders and ended the automatic halfway release for serious crimes."Hampshire Police attended the halfway house when vigilantes attempted to gain entry.
Jonathan added: "We didn’t see anything. But we did hear someone tried to get over the fence. It’s not highly secure.
“We’ve also heard that he might have been moved out, but nothing official. You’d think the news of him leaving might have been as big as his arrival. There are a lot of rumours."
The woodland Jonathan and Lauren’s children, aged seven, four and three, play in, backs onto a garden which forms part of the halfway house property in which Gary Glitter - and other sex offenders - are housed by the national probation service.Glitter was released from HMP The Verne last week and remains on strict licence conditions.Lauren said: "People are not happy. I suspect any community where he’s moved will kick off, but we don’t want him here.
“We can see right into the property from the woodland, and they can see right out. They can see our kids playing.”Jonathan added: “When Gary Glitter arrived, it was pretty emotional. People don’t want him around, certainly not in the middle of where people live.“You’d think these people would be moved in the middle of a field, not where kids are.”