Ipswich: Parents protest against paedophiles

CROWDS of parents gathered at a parade of shops to take part in a protest against paedophiles which left one man in custody on suspicion of assault and criminal damage.

Police patrolled in Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, yesterday after being notified of a protest carried out by concerned parents from the Chantry estate.

With placards reading “keep our children safe” and “say no to paedophile on our doorstep” in tow, it is understood that the protesters were out in force following the court hearing of David Davenport.

Davenport, of Hawthorn Drive, was spared jail after being found with more than 180 indecent images of children.

The 54-year-old admitted two counts of making indecent images of children at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court last week and was handed a six-month prison sentence which was suspended for two years.

He was also banned from accessing pornography on the internet for a two year period.

Chantry mum-of-five Victoria Edwards organised the protest alongside other local parents.

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She said: “I feel very concerned for my children with this man on our doorstep and that is why we held the protest. I know that many others feel the same way.

“We got more than 800 signatures. I was shocked to learn that he was in an area which has so many schools around.

“It was a peaceful protest and there police were there while we were.”

A 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and causing criminal damage, and was last night in custody waiting to hear his fate.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “We were notified shortly after 9.30am (yesterday) that there would be a protest starting at 10am.

“We believe that there was around 15 people there. It appears to be a lawful protest.

“It was believed to be aimed at a man convicted of child pornography.”

Patrick Nulty was heading to the shops to buy a newspaper when he noticed a crowd of people gathering.

Speaking yesterday following the protest, Mr Nulty said: “There is clearly a situation outside the shops, there are swarms of parents and mothers gathering and protesting.”

- Did you take part in the protest? What are your thoughts on this issue? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk