Police have appealed for calm after residents learned a convicted sex offender is living in their neighbourhood.
James Carroll was named on a Facebook page which was originally set up for residents to exchange gossip and stories about life on Leicester’s New Parks estate.
Police have urged people in New Parks to remain calm and not to take the law into their own hands
Carroll was jailed for nine years in March 2004, when he was 33, for a string of serious sexual offences against an 11-year-old girl.
It is unclear how long he has been out of prison but it was revealed on the ‘Spotted in New Parks’ Facebook page this week that he was once again living in the area in which he committed his crimes.
New Parks resident Ashleigh Weston, who knows both Carroll – who was living on the estate at the time – and the victim’s family, posted the message.
The 37-year-old father-of-three said: “I put it there because people have a right to know that a paedophile is living in their area.
“I had heard through the grapevine a while ago that he was out of prison and then I found out he was living in the New Parks or Newfoundpool areas.
“I don’t think it’s right that people like him should be allowed to live in the area where they committed their crimes.
“But as long as he is here people should know about him and what he did.
“That’s why I put the information out. I would not condone anyone taking the law into their own hands in any way.”
However, a number of responses to Mr Weston’s original post on the Spotted in New Parks gave police cause for concern.
The force has now placed its own message on the site, stressing it works closely with the probation service to “manage” sex offenders who are living in the community.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “Any registered sex offender who is released on licence from prison will have conditions that will be tightly managed by police and the probation service.
“Leicestershire Police would advise the public to contact them if they have any concerns regarding this issue and not to take the law into their own hands.”
The spokesperson added: “Some of the information which has been published on social network sites surrounding this individual is factually incorrect.”
A resident, who asked not to be named, said: “There was an interesting debate on the Facebook page when this was posted.
“Some people were saying he had served his time in prison and should be allowed to get on with his life, while others were saying he should be hanged.
“I think people have a right to know a man with this background is living here.”
Carroll was put on trial in March 2004 at Lincoln Crown Court and was convicted of six charges of unlawful sexual intercourse and five of indecent assault, between June 2001 and May 2003.
All the offences related to the same victim.
The court heard that Carroll gave the girl alcohol, cannabis and cash after pressuring her to have sex with him.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that Carroll abused the girl for more than two years before she finally revealed her ordeal after being picked up by police in Leicester city centre.
Jailing him for nine years, Judge John Milmo QC told Carroll: “Your conduct was closely akin to rape. You only obtained her consent by threats and gifts of money, drink and cannabis.”
Carl Gaskell, defending Carroll, told the court his client remained insistent that he was innocent and regarded the verdicts as a grave miscarriage of justice.
Parents, guardians and other carers are legally entitled to ask police for information on people who have close and unsupervised contact with their children.
The child sex offender disclosure scheme – inspired by the campaigning of the family of murdered child Sarah Payne – was launched in Leicestershire in October 2010.
Application forms are available by calling Leicestershire Police on 101, visiting a police station or the force’s website:
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