November 2016

Fury as child rapist was allowed to live beside six Belfast schools


A serial child rapist is now back behind bars for allegedly breaching the conditions of his early release licence.

But questions are being asked, not only about the decision to free Leo Hoad, but also why he was put in a Belfast hostel a short distance from six schools and youth clubs.

Sunday Life has learned that until his arrest in July, the Fermanagh-born paedophile was living at Thompson House on the Antrim Road.

The complex, nicknamed ‘Pervert’s Paradise’, has previously housed child sex killers like Ronnie Graham and John Clifford.

It had a £2million extension added to it in 2012, increasing fears that more perverts would be moved in

After frightened locals staged protests at its doors, they claim to have struck a verbal deal with its Presbyterian Church owners that dangerous sex offenders would not stay at the hostel.

But that agreement is now in tatters with the revelation that Leo Hoad was housed there during the summer, and was arrested at the complex on suspicion of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (Sopo).

One long-term Antrim Road resident told Sunday Life: “The demonstrations were called off after we were assured that no dangerous sex offenders would stay at Thompson House.

“People will be shocked that a child rapist like Leo Hoad was living at the hostel because it is surrounded by schools. The fact that he was arrested for breaching his release licence proves that he is still dangerous.”

There are 84 CCTV cameras monitoring Thompson House, and sex offenders are confined to the building until 9.30am, and between 2pm and 4pm, when schools are opening and closing.

But that did not stop Leo Hoad being taken into custody by police on July 18 amid claims he had breached a Sopo.

The 38-year-old appeared via video-link at Belfast Magistrates’ Court last Thursday for an update on the

A Presbyterian Church spokesman said that admissions to Thompson House are made by the Probation Board after a thorough risk assessment process.

He added: “The safety of the local community is paramount and part of the regime at Thompson House.

“That regime is based on the risk assessment and is robustly monitored by staff and by the designated risk manager, which is the advantage of having approved accommodation that is monitored, totally accountable and open to external inspection.”

Leo Hoad is considered one of Northern Ireland’s most dangerous paedophiles, having admitted 11 charges of rape and two indecent assaults against two children

The pervert was aged 13 when he started an eight-year sex assault campaign against his victims, who were aged just seven and eight when the abuse began.

In 2012 Hoad, who is on the sex offenders’ register for life, was sentenced to seven years in prison and a further three years’ probation for his sickening crimes.

He had been living in Thompson House for only a matter of weeks before being arrested for allegedly breaching the terms of his early release.

April 2012

Hoad jailed for seven years for ‘campaign of rape’

A 33-year-old man who claimed he was the victim of an internet hate campaign has been jailed for what the judge described as “a campaign of rape”.

Leo Hoad, from Beech Hill, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, was arrested after he went to the police to complain about death threats that were posted online.

Last month, Hoad admitted 11 charges of rape and two charges of indecent assault.

His two young victims were aged seven and eight when the attacks began.

Hoad was 13 when he started committing the sexual assaults.

His first victim was attacked ten times between 1992 and 1993.

His second victim was aged between seven and nine years old when she was raped and indecently assaulted.

Hoad was then aged 19 to 21.

The internet campaign began last year, after charges Hoad had faced of indecently assaulting two 14-year-old girls were withdrawn.

Hoad protested his innocence in an interview with the Impartial Reporter newspaper.

He said many of his neighbours had joined an online campaign demanding that he leave Enniskillen.

The police asked Facebook to remove the site which contained dozens of abusive and threatening posts.

He was charged last year and changed his plea to guilty before his trial was due to start last month.

Sentencing him at Dungannon Crown Court on Friday, Judge Melody McReynolds said Hoad’s guilty plea had shown an “awareness of having ruined the lives of these two young women”.

She sentenced him to seven years in prison followed by three years on probation, to complete a sex offenders’ programme.

He will be the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and was put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Speaking outside the court, one of his victims said: “I’m happy there has been a result and that justice has been done.”