‘You’re not welcome’ - Exmouth tells ‘Beast’ paedophile

PUBLISHED: 17:58 02 September 2011

Joseph McColgan on his bike at a Plymouth bail hostel.

Joseph McColgan on his bike at a Plymouth bail hostel.

Archant

One of Britain’s most dangerous paedophiles - who was jailed last year for possessing child pornography while living in Exmouth - has been freed.

Dubbed the ‘Beast of Sligo’, Irishman Joseph McColgan, who had been living in Dray Court, has been released after serving less than half his 30-month sentence.

This week, people living in Exmouth - who befriended McColgan without knowing his horrific past - said the paedophile must not return.

He was dubbed The Beast of Sligo, after his home county in Ireland, where he was jailed in 1995 for a record 238 years for repeatedly raping and beating his own children over a 17-year period.

He was released in 2004 after ­serving only nine years of his 26 ­concurrent sentences – the longest of which was 12 years and imposed 18 times.

After his release, McColgan disappeared and it is believed he eventually came to Exmouth in 2007, living at various addresses in the town.

An Exmouth man, who befriended 69-year-old McColgan before discovering the awful truth, said the paedophile was not welcome in the town.

The grandfather, who did not want to be identified, said: “We don’t want him here in Exmouth. There are people here who would publicly attack him.

“If he turns up on my front door there will be trouble, serious trouble. I shall have to call the police. I don’t want him around.

“I knew he would probably be out before his time. It’s bad news.

“The people who lived in the block of flats where he lived were absolutely offended by his presence when they found out about his past.

“He broke the confidence of people and broke their trust.”

McColgan was recently spotted among families and children at a car boot sale in Plymouth.

Released on early licence before serving half his sentence, it is believed he is staying at a bail hostel in Plymouth.

McColgan would not give any clues to his future accommodation plans when questioned by journalists about his future.

He said he was unable to discuss the matter because he was on parole.

“I don’t know where I will live. I cannot talk to you,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Probation Service did not reveal where McColgan planned to reside, except to say public protection upon releasing sex offenders was its ‘first priority’.

She said sex offenders released from prison on licence were supervised by the police and probation service.

The spokeswoman said: “We have robust mechanisms to manage sex offenders effectively, if they are living in the community.

“Such offenders are subject to strict licence conditions and can be recalled to custody, if they breach their licence conditions.

“The conditions can include dictating where an offender lives, in the interests of public safety.”

Sentencing McColgan in 2010, Judge Cottle said the defendant remained a danger to children and hoped the authorities would supervise him at the ‘highest level’ on his release.

He told McColgan: “If that’s not put into place, then children will continue to be at serious risk from you.”

l See page four for a background article.

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