Mother's concern after offender released

A CONCERNED mother has spoken out after learning the sex offender who tried to prey on her teenage son is returning to the area when he is released from prison.

A CONCERNED mother has spoken out after learning the sex offender who tried to prey on her teenage son is returning to the area when he is released from prison.

The mother of two, from the Chantry area, arrived home from work last week and found a note from Suffolk police asking her to contact them.

When she did, she was told that Anthony Pinnington, 40, had been released from jail and had moved back into his old home close to them and close to a high school.

Pinnington was first jailed in 1997 for 18 months for sexually assaulting a young boy and possessing drugs.

In 2000 he was jailed for three years, reduced to two on appeal, for gross indecency.

After being released, he was jailed again in 2004 for sending text messages to a 15-year-old boy, breaching the terms of a sexual offenders order forbidding him from having contact with boys under 16.

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And last year he was jailed again after giving his mobile phone number to a 14-year-old paperboy inviting him to call or text him.

The mother of that boy said: “My son was aware enough to stay away from this man, we have always talked frankly about issues like this, and he knows to stay away from strangers and to tell me about anything strange that adults say to him.

“But I am worried about other children in the area - they might not all be so aware. And the house where he lives is on a route that lots of children from around here use to walk to school.”

Head of the probation service in Suffolk, John Budd, said he was not able to comment on individual cases.

However he said he could reassure residents that a thorough risk-assessment would have been carried out before any decision was made on when and were to release sex offenders.

Mr Budd said: “Many agencies are involved in this risk assessment, including the police, probation and health and housing authorities.

“I am confident that in making this decision all opinions including those of the victims have been taken into account.

“The assurance I would give to the public is that we manage offenders' behaviour with public safety given paramount importance.

“We work closely with the police and there are powers available to us if there is evidence that an offender's behaviour is compromising public safety.”

Do you think sex offenders released from prison should be allowed to move back to areas where they offended? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk