Notorious paedo no longer at hostel close to primary school

It’s understood the 63-year-old moved out of the accommodation last year

Carey Lyons leaving court in 2013

Brett CampbellBelfast Telegraph

A serial sex offender from Belfast is no longer at a Derry bail address which had sparked public concern due to its close proximity to a primary school.

Records had not been updated to reflect that Carey Lyons, who was convicted at Belfast Crown Court last month for possessing indecent images of children, vacated a hostel in the city ahead of sentencing at the end of this month.

It’s understood the 63-year-old moved out of the accommodation last year.

The administrative oversight raised questions about whether appropriate risk assessments are being carried out to sufficiently protect local communities.

Lyons, formerly of Newtownabbey, has been convicted on more than 60 occasions since 1973, with most of the crimes linked to indecent images of minors.

At his most recent court appearance the persistent sex fiend admitted to a total of 16 counts of having indecent pictures obtained between September 2014 and January 2018.

Multiple courts over the years have heard that he is a self-confessed addict of images of child abuse and he has sometimes deliberately reoffended so that he’s jailed, because he struggles with life outside prison.

Lyons has previously described his addiction to vile images of abuse as “untreatable”.

It comes shortly after notorious paedophile Richard McFarland was placed in Derry just doors away from young families and in close proximity to a nursery school and two primary schools.

The pervert repeatedly breached the terms of his sexual offences prevention order, which led a police officer to tell a court that supervised accommodation was the best option for him.

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Meanwhile, serial offender Raymond Hugh Fitzpatrick sexually assaulted a woman near the city centre in 2021, allegedly telling her: “I am from Belfast and Belfast couldn’t control me.”

The number of violent offenders being granted bail after providing addresses for B&Bs and hostels in Derry has caused outrage among local residents.

The Public Protection Arrangements NI (PPANI), which is made up of the PSNI, Probation Board for NI and NI Housing Executive, said the risk posed by violent and sexual offenders is being managed and insisted that public safety is “paramount”.

A spokesperson said measures include placing restrictions on offenders and intervening when necessary.

However, Aontú councillor Emmet Doyle warned that previous incidents show otherwise.

“Certain individuals are known in their area and that’s why they’re moved here,” he said.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has also spoken out about an influx of offenders in the area and said the “game of ‘Pass The Problem’” cannot continue.

Not only is it unsustainable, but it’s unsafe,” he added.

The NI Housing Executive said it has a statutory duty to assess each case to identify if the statutory requirement for provision of accommodation has been met.

“It should be noted that staff responsible for the allocation of accommodation are aware of the need to carry out relevant checks, where applicable, as part of the Public Protection Arrangements Northern Ireland,” a spokesperson added.

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