Ex police officer avoids prison again
An 82-year-old former police officer has avoided jail again despite being convicted of his 17th sex crime
John Stanfield had a two year jail sentence suspended for three years when he appeared in the dock of Downpatrick Crown Court last Thursday
The pensioner admitted three counts of committing an act outraging public decency; five of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO); four of engaging in sexual activity in front of a child aged under 13.
The convictions relate to incidents earlier this year when Stanfield fondled himself in various supermarkets near his home on the Rosetta Road in south Belfast. The incidents were caught on CCTV. After being arrested he claimed to have been scratching his psoriasis.
Despite being convicted of 17 sex crimes since 2010 Stanfield has only ever served four weeks in prison.
That was last month when he was remanded in custody ahead of being given a suspended sentence and freed on Thursday.
Stanfield is now back living in the Rosetta area, much to the fury of neighbours who had hoped to see the back of him.
Locals had previously been in touch with DUP peer Lord Morrow who asked the Department of Justice to carry out a serious case review because of the paedophile’s constant re-offending. But the politician was told that this was not possible because Stanfield’s latest crimes were non-contact.
Despite being on the sex offender’s register and subject to a SOPO the pervert was allowed to go on a recent cruise. He is also a familiar sight in cafes around the Ormeau Road.
A source said: “It seems Stanfield cannot control himself and given his past record it will only be a matter of time before he is in trouble again.”
Stanfield also has convictions for fondling himself in front of children on beaches. He was nicknamed ‘Dirty John’ by teenagers in Rosetta after buying Viagra-type sex pills from young dealers.
Pervert pensioner ‘touched himself in front of children’
A convicted sex offender accused of acting indecently towards children in two supermarkets has been granted bail despite police objections.
At Newtownards Magistrates Court, John Douglas Stanfield (82) confirmed that he understood the 16 charges against him.
Stanfield, from Rosetta Road, east Belfast, is accused of six charges of breaching his sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), six of engaging in sexual acts in the presence of children, three of indecent behaviour and one of failing to comply with the sex offenders’ register.
All are alleged to have occurred in February, March, November and December last year.
Giving evidence to the court, a detective constable said she believed she could connect Stanfield to each of the charges.
A prosecuting lawyer said although it was an “unusual application”, given that Stanfield was released on police bail after he was initially charged, the PPS was asking for the pensioner to be remanded into custody.
The detective described how police were called to a supermarket at the Forestside shopping centre in Belfast on December 10 last year following reports of Stanfield “touching himself in front of children” in an incident captured on CCTV.
Police seized and watched the footage and Stanfield was arrested at his home. The officer revealed that enquiries uncovered two similar but earlier incidents in the same shop.
All three incidents had been recorded on security cameras and the officer described how Stanfield could be seen “actively seeking out children in the aisles” before acting indecently in their presence.
District judge Mark Hamill asked if Stanfield exposed himself while engaging in the alleged activity or if he spoke to or touched the children, but the officer said:”It’s over his clothing He doesn’t talk to them and he didn’t touch them but his behaviour is concerning.”
Arrested and interviewed, Stanfield was shown footage from each incident but each time his explanation “was that he was scratching his psoriasis”.
Defence solicitor Hugh Edgar told the court there was “medical evidence” about Stanfield’s condition, submitting that the pensioner should be released again, given that he was freed on police bail in the first place.
Releasing Stanfield on his own bail of £500, judge Hamill barred the pensioner from entering any supermarket or its car park and from having contact with children. He warned that the prosecution did not “contemplate for a moment prosecuting this in the magistrates” and said a “bad character application is staring you in the face”.
Stanfield was ordered to come back to court on February 9 and was warned that any breach of his bail or SOPO would mean that “he would go back into custody”.