Convicted child rapist went to ground after becoming the target of a hate campaign

Blackpool Gazette (U.K.)

A CONVICTED child rapist went to ground after becoming the target of a hate campaign.
Pensioner John Harness moved from Blackburn to Blackpool but did not tell the police.

Harness, 71, was put on the sex offenders register for life and jailed for eight years after being found guilty in 1998 of five charges of raping a girl under the age of 16.

The pensioner, formerly of Hornby Road, Blackpool, who told the court he now had no fixed address, pleaded guilty to breaching a sex offenders registration order by failing to notify police of his address between September 1 2006 and March 28 this year.

He was sentenced to five months imprisonment by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor Julie Fogarty said in March this year police went to flats on Hornby Road, Blackpool, on an unrelated matter and were told Harness had lived there for three weeks.

Checks revealed Harness was a convicted sex offender and the address he had registered with police was Bolton Road, Blackburn. When police went to that address the landlord said Harness had left in 2006.

Harness said he had not told police about his move because police would tell people he was on the sex offenders register.

Gerry Coyle, defending, said his client had originally lived at Leeds Close, Blackburn.

Mr Coyle added: "Police decided to check he was still there and because they spoke to people in the street, he became the target of threats and abuse.

"Petrol was poured through his door and lit. He then moved to a bed and breakfast in Bolton Road.

"After spending time in hospital that address was no longer available to him. He moved to Blackpool and did not tell the police of his address because he feared they would tell others."

No comments: