July 2008

Mother had no way of knowing lodger was a paedophile

When Anne allowed a friend of a friend to sleep on her sofa, little did she know he had a seedy, criminal past.

After Damien Terrence Wright outstayed his welcome, it emerged he was a convicted paedophile.

Mum-of-three Ann said she had no idea Wright was a convicted sex offender when she allowed him to stay in the lounge of her home in Charles Road, Yeovil, for a month. He even took two of her children out for lunch to Pizza Hut, which he was prohibited from doing by an interim sexual offences order.

Wright, 30, had told police he was sleeping rough on the streets, but when his breaches came to light he was arrested and brought before South Somerset magistrates. Wright, of no fixed address, admitted three counts of breaching the order between June 9 and July 12 and was jailed for five months.

Now,Ann, 33, whose children are eight, nine and 12, has teamed up with her mum, Violet, and friend, Mel,to campaign for the identities of every known paedophile to be made available to the public.

After a seven-year-old was raped and murdered in America in 1990, the government there introduced Megan’s Law, which makes information about sex offenders, such as their name, picture and address available. Ms Hutchinson believes it should be introduced in the UK.

She said she only allowed Wright to stay at her house to do a favour for a friend for a couple of days, but he would not leave.

She eventually kicked him out.

She told the Western Gazette newspaper: “After he left, every single night he was driving up and hanging around in my garden. On Friday morning, two police officers turned up asking if I knew him. They then told me who he really was. I am very cautious with my children and would never have exposed them to this risk had I known.”

The South Somerset court heard Wright had been subject to a sexual offences prevention order after indecently assaulting a four-year-old in 1997. But that order expired and an interim order was imposed when he was released from prison on June 9 after another breach.

Gareth Webb, mitigating, said Wright was offered somewhere to live “by a friend of a friend” for £30 a week and had decided to live there, despite the children, because he wanted a roof over his head.