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Housing Association excludes paedophile from its property

Knightstone Housing Association has obtained an injunction excluding the partner of one of its tenants from the street in which he hoped to live.

John Horton has a history of paedophile behaviour, starting with a conviction for indecent assault on a girl under 16 in 1996. Following the introduction of Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, the local Police, concerned about reports that Horton had young, vulnerable girls in his house and car, obtained an order banning Horton from contact with young girls for life. He breached the SOPO and was sent to prison for 18 months. Horton also had convictions for kidnapping, GBH and offences of dishonesty.

Over the time Horton resided in the street, neighbours complained that he was using the property for running a car repair business. They complained that he was threatening and intimidating. There were also complaints about his inappropriate behaviour with young girls. One resident told the Court that Horton had wolf-whistled at his young daughter, who was too scared to pass Horton's property and had to go the long way round if she left the Close. Another resident told the Court that young girls were seen at the property, drinking, and that Horton was seen to smack their bottoms.

The landlord sought an injunction restraining Horton from returning to the street – home to 19 girls under the age of 16. The District Judge granted the injunction for a period of 5 years, stating that the Defendant was "a law unto himself" with no concern for the rights of his neighbours to the peaceful and safe enjoyment of their homes; he commended their courage in coming to Court to give evidence despite the aura of intimidation emanating from the Defendant.

Catherine Rowlands instructed by Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP represented Knightstone.