Dungannon mum feels ‘under ransom’ due to sex offender living nearby

Police say they are aware of concerns raised about a sex offender living in a Dungannon housing development. File picture posed.
Police say they are aware of concerns raised about a sex offender living in a Dungannon housing development. File picture posed.

A Dungannon mum has told how families in a local housing development, are growing increasingly worried about a convicted sex offender living in the area.

The concerned mum revealed the man, who was prohibited from having any contact or communication with children under the age of 16 unless that contact is “inadvertent and not reasonably avoidable in the course of lawful daily life”, has been offering youngsters sweets and DVDs.

She told how her and her husband were shocked when the individual in question - convicted of two counts of inciting a child to engage in a sexual activity - walked into their garden and offered their young daughters sweets.

The woman told the TIMES: “I feel as though we are being held to ransom in our own homes, because this man is not afraid, he is being quite brazen about approaching children in the development. I understand this man has to go somewhere, but ideally I would like him moved. My husband and I are both very worried about this and it is impossible to keep children in the house, especially during their school holidays.”

Recalling the incident which first drew her attention to the individual, the Dungannon woman explained: “The first time we came across him was in September last year. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and my husband had picked our daughters up from school.

“The girls were playing in the garden, which is off the street so this man would have had to walk up our driveway, when he came in and offered them sweets. My husband and I were in the garage at the time, but we were watching the girls, and we got a bit of a shock when we noticed what this man was doing.

“He was very apologetic to us, saying he and his wife were visiting their grandchildren, but their grandchildren didn’t like these particular sweets. But then we started to see him around here regularly, and the word went round about his supposed history and we began to panic.”

Dungannon SDLP councillor, Denise Mullen, has been liaising with police on behalf of the family, and urged residents to report any incidents to the PSNI.

Police said they were aware of concerns and are making enquiries.