The Daily Gazette (www.gazette-news.co.uk)
11:51am Monday 19th September 2011
A CONVICTED paedophile must give police a week’s notice if he wants to go to church after he lost an appeal. Police became concerned over the behaviour John Drury, 86, after he started visiting places of worship in the town.
They imposed an order he had to give advance notice of visits so families with children could be alerted of Drury’s attendance. Drury appealed against the order saying a one-off list of places he may attend in future would be a better alternative.
Judge David Turner QC sitting told the appeal hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court(*FRI SEP XVI*)this was not acceptable.
There needed to be more safeguards to protect families with chidren, the judge said.
Drury’s barrister, Laura Keynon, said: “He visits a variety of churches because he is still trying to find the right church.”
Judge Turner told her: “One would have thought at 86 that search may have reached a resolution.”
Judge Turner told the appeal: “He still has a perplexing propensity to attend churches with what we fear is a sinister and inappropriate motive.
“The pattern of attending is strange. It causes us concern. We do not think it is solely or principally connected with a motivation to worship,” the judge said.
And he added: “We have no doubt he continues to present a risk of serious sexual harm to children and young people.”
Drury, of Mersea Road, Colchester, did not object to other aspects of the order banning him from any contact with children without a parent or guardian’s consent or knowledge of his previous sex conviction.
The appeal was told police protection officers have been keeping tabs on Drury since he was released from a jail sentence for abusing little girls at his former home in Cambridge Road, Colchester.
Officers were also concerned over Drury’s insistence he did not abuse the children.
Officers have checked on him 74 times and the protection team have spoken to him 36 times since his release from jail.
There were also concerns over a picture Drury carried of a girl aged around 13.
Drury, a former RAF electrician, was jailed for four years in October 2005 after he was convicted on 11 charges of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child. The girls involved were aged between five and 13.
He was released from prison after serving two years and four months and remains on the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.