Vigilantes burn ‘paedophile’s home’ as police call for calm

Police have called for calm after suspected vigilantes torched a house where a convicted sex offender had earlier been removed for his own safety.

Videos and posts circulating on social media captured the man being escorted by a Merseyside Police patrol car in Terret Croft, Stockbridge Village, as a large group of people hurled abuse.

The resident, originally from Birkenhead, is understood to be a paedophile involved in a 'dogging gang' who groomed and "systematically" sexually abused a 13-year-old girl in North Wales in 2005.

He admitted two counts of sexual activity with a child and taking indecent photographs of a child in a 2006 court case, and was jailed for three years.

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The house is now unoccupied after the incident, believed to have taken place on May 15, but the building was set alight in the early hours of today (Tuesday May 19) in a case of suspected arson.

A house in Terret Croft, Stockbridge Village, set alight by arsonists after a convicted paedophile was escorted to safety by police

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were called out, alongside police officers, shortly after 2am and found the building had sustained significant damage, although no-one was injured.

The force have urged residents to report any information and not "take the law into their own hands."

Detective Chief Inspector Craig Sumner said: "This is an unoccupied property so thankfully nobody was injured.

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"However, to deliberately set any location alight is incredibly reckless and risks the lives and homes of anyone living in the vicinity.
"We are aware of social media comments and rumours locally and I would strongly urge anyone to report any information directly to police, and not try and take the law into their own hands, or share videos or comments that potentially put others at risk.

"If you have any information as to who was responsible, come forward and we will take the appropriate action."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Merseyside Police social media desk on Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook 'Merseyside Police Contact Centre', with reference 71 of 19 May.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.

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