A BAIL hostel housing sex attackers and violent ex-offenders will not be moved away from a park and a primary school – despite a three year campaign.
View from back of hostel (car park)
Basildon Council’s review into the Felmores bail hostel in Pitsea was launched following public outcry that convicted paedophiles and sex offenders were living in the middle of a housing estate and close to a school, playground and nursery.
Map above shows: Top left star is Felmores bail hostel. Star under that is Northlands park used by families and children. Right hand star is approx a 4 minute walk to a nearby primary school
Councillors will be told calls to the Ministry of Justice to relocate the hostel, in Felmores, Basildon, have fallen on deaf ears.
The National Probation Service has ruled out five alternative sites across Essex.
Robin Brennan, assistant director of the service’s south east and eastern division, told officers all the sites were unsuitable without saying why – and although the building does not meet Government requirements, there is no funding available to improve it, let alone move it.
Bail hostel review outrage
AN OFFICIAL report into Felmores bail hostel has been branded a ‘whitewash’ after it concluded residents were happy to live alongside convicted paedophiles.
The document, published early in 2013 by Basildon Council, said only a ‘small’ number of people had complaints about housing sex offenders in the heart of their community.
The report was compiled following a review by Basildon Council.
It came after years of calls by residents for the hostel – which houses ‘the most serious offenders’, including rapists and paedophiles – to be moved. Protests arose after several convicted sex offenders staying at the hostel targeted local women and children.
Putting everyone in danger !
Listed below are a couple of examples why putting such dangerous offenders in such a area as Felmores is absurd and puts people at risk – Click each name to view full story on each offence committed whilst being Felmores hostel residents
In 2006 one hostel resident raped a woman in Northlands Park. Rory Griffin, pictured, had only been staying at the hostel for 13 days after being released from serving a five-year jail term for a violent sex assault on a teenager.
He calmly walked to the nearby Northlands Park where he brutally raped a local woman and was later jailed for 12 years in January 2007
In August 2011 a Felmores hostel resident was given an indeterminate prison term after he sexually abused a seven-year-old boy in a public toilet in Basildon.
Dean Freeman, (pictured) then 24 had been freed months earlier having served just half of a five-year and eight-month sentence for abducting a ten-year-old boy. In a disastrous error, he was housed in the controversial Felmores bail hostel on a residential estate close to two primary schools. And he was supposed to be monitored by the probation service and police. Yet he was still able to carry out his disgusting attack during the Easter school holidays.
In 2006: Trevor Docherty, then 59, was at the hostel after being released on licence early from a 12-month prison sentence for downloading 617 indecent images of children on his home computer. While under a four-year supervision licence which banned him coming into contact with children was able to photograph a couple’s baby daughter in their own home. When the father approached the bail hostel they denied any sex offenders were housed there
Also in 2006: The local Echo paper revealed how Northlands Park fisheries manager Mick Toomer stopped a middle-aged man from luring teenage boys away from Northlands Park when he alerted police to his suspicious behaviour.
However, critics claim the new report allegedly downplays residents’ concerns, and blamed protests on ‘a small number of very vocal, active people’.
It also read: “Most members of the community present at [a public consultation] were of the opinion that the Approved Premises should not be in its current location and should be removed. However, none could give any firm evidence or quote specific incidents that led to this conclusion.”
Ward councillor Gavin Callaghan, who withdrew from the review in January because he felt it was ‘nothing but lip service’, said the comments in the report were ‘crass’.
He said: “This report does not fool anybody. It’s a whitewash.”
The report concluded that locals should communicate more with hostel managers and should report any future crimes committed by hostel inmates to the police.
Campaigner Leanne Clark, 42, said she was ‘disgusted’ to see that an attack on a seven-year-old-boy had only merited one line in the 15-page document.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it. How can they sleep at night?”
Cllr Callaghan said the report had ‘missed the point’ of public protests.
He said: “Everyone accepts that paedophiles and criminals will always exist in society. But what the people of Felmores can’t accept is that this facility is right in the heart of their community, close to schools and parks. The council has a duty of care to improve residents’ quality of life. They should be able to live, work and raise a family free from fear for their own safety.”