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WEST WICKHAM: Residents' anger at paedophile neighbour
NEIGHBOURS of a convicted paedophile have expressed their horror at him living in their area.
Arthur McGeogh is currently residing with his mother in Dixon Place, West Wickham, and residents nearby have been contacting News Shopper to show their dismay.
McGeogh was jailed for four years in December 2007 after being convicted of attempted rape and engaging in sexual activity with a girl under the age of 13.
Last year in an interview with News Shopper, his victim said her trauma had driven her to the brink of suicide.
She said she was on anti-depressants and had weekly counselling as a result of her ordeal.
Posters were displayed and leaflets distributed near to McGeogh’s current home warning neighbours of his presence.
Faye Hope, aged 43, who lives nearby in The Alders, says she was abused as a child and understands how the victim feels.
She said: “I class myself as a survivor. I totally empathise with the girl, it’s a life sentence. Whatever you do it won’t go away.
“People I’ve spoken to are very angry. Some parents say they will walk a different way to and from school.”
Mother-of-two Sarah Miles says she feels “freaked out” to live in the same road as him.
The 47-year-old said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to is not happy about it. His flat lies on to the back of a children’s playground.
“We have two schools nearby and a lot of mothers walking past with their kids.
“I don’t like the thought of him being there.
“It’s putting everyone off doing stuff.”
Speaking this week McGeogh’s victim says she has started afresh and moved on but will never be able to forget what happened.
Now aged 17, she said: “It’s definitely not something I think about every day, but I don’t think it ever leaves you.”
Ward councillor for West Wickham Councillor Nicholas Bennett has issued a statement on his website about the posters being displayed.
Cllr Bennett said: “I and my ward colleagues fully understand parents’ concerns but the council has no control over who lives where.
“The person concerned was released about a year ago after serving his sentence.
“He is on the Sex Offenders’ Register and is now living with his mother who is a Housing Association tenant.
“His home address is known to the police.
“Ex sex offenders have to live somewhere and it is better that their whereabouts is known and their behaviour monitored rather than such people go into hiding and are not monitored.”
Head of Bromley police’s CID Detective Chief Inspector Chris Smart said: “We can reassure residents that violent and sexual offenders are closely monitored wherever they may live or whatever their personal circumstances.
“The safety and protection of the public is paramount at all times when dealing with violent and sexual offenders and we work very closely with our partner agencies to ensure the safety and protection of the public when dealing with these offenders.”
News Shopper visited McGeogh’s current home but was told emphatically by his mother he would not comment.
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