Paedophile, 73, evicted from his council home
APAEDOPHILE has been evicted from his council flat in West Lancashire after being convicted of child porn offences.
Joseph Riley, 73, formerly of Beechwood Court, Birkrig, in Digmoor, Skelmersdale, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of four offences of making indecent pseudo photographs of children and one offence of possessing an indecent photograph of pseudo photograph of children.
The images were all Level A the highest-rated classification.
He was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, given a two-year supervision order, and ordered to attend an internet sexual offending programme.
A five-year sexual harm prevention order and a 10-year Sex Offenders Notice were also served against him, along with a forfeiture order for all his computer equipment.
The offences were so serious that they gave the council grounds to take action to repossess the property under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and evict him.
This was the first time West Lancashire Borough Council has used these powers and Wigan County Court granted possession of the property, a flat in a sheltered accommodation block, to the council at a hearing on May 22.
Riley, who was not at the Wigan County Court hearing, handed the keys to the property back to the council on May 26.
Jacqui Sinnott-Lacey, the council’s director of housing and inclusion, said: “As a landlord, the council simply will not tolerate tenants committing crimes in our properties.
“The council has a variety of powers available to evict tenants convicted of criminal offences and we will choose the most effective method in each case.
“The council has a responsibility to protect its tenants and their guests, who in this case were often young children as well as others living in the community. As such, seeking possession under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 confirms the seriousness of the situation.”
Dave Tilleray, West Lancashire Borough Council director of leisure and wellbeing, said: “Child pornography is a despicable crime that preys upon the most vulnerable in our society.
“The council has taken the strongest possible action against Mr Riley and this sends out a clear message to tenants that they must abide by the law.” HAVE you spotted all the scarecrows around Halsall?
More than 70 are dotted all around the village outside the church, by the pub, outside people’s homes.
It’s all part of the second annual Halsall Village Scarecrow Festival, which began on Thursday, June 1, and will run throughout the month.
The Scarecrow Festival is the brainchild of Elea Wroe from the village environment group, who said that the event has captured the imagination of the whole village.
She said: “People have been incredibly enthusiastic and it’s really amazing to see just how many have popped up around the village.
“Our aim was to raise some smiles and giggles, spread a bit of positivity, and I can honestly say we have done that and I’m so happy with how well the event has been received.”
The official route for the scarecrow festival is down the main road to Summerwood Lane, on to Carr Moss Lane and then to Linaker Drive, but others have been appearing off the beaten track.