Clitheroe convicted paedophile (69) gave love notes to paperboy (13)

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A CONVICTED paedophile from Clitheroe repeatedly approached a 13-year-old paperboy and gave him gifts and “love notes.”

Blackburn magistrates heard John Gidlow invited the boy to stay with him at a remote holiday cottage in Norfolk.

He even approached the newsagent the boy worked for, asking for his address, before leaving a note which repeated the invitation for the boy to stay with him.

Gidlow (69), of Chatburn Road, Clitheroe, admitted three charges of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order imposed in 2005. He was remanded in custody for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Mr Scott Ainge (prosecuting) said Gidlow had spoken to the boy several times between June and September when he went to stay in Norfolk for two months. He told the boy to go on “rude” websites.

During the school holidays the boy was handed what he described as a love note which contained a £5 note. Other cash gifts followed. Gidlow had asked the boy where he lived and which school he went to, but the boy refused to tell him.

Mr Ainge said the boy had told his brother about the behaviour and he had told him to tell their mother.

“The boy told police he was too scared to tell his mum in case he got in trouble,” said Mr Ainge. “She was eventually told by a member of staff at the paper shop after Gidlow handed her a note and asked her to pass it to the boy.

“The defendant clearly has an obsession with this boy and such an obsession would seem to present a risk of offences of a sexual nature,” added Mr Ainge.

Gidlow was convicted of seven indecent assaults on young boys in 1985. He was made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order in 2005 after police became concerned about his behaviour towards boys at Ribblesdale Wanderers Cricket Club, where he was involved in coaching youngsters. Gidlow was jailed for six months later that year for breaching the order when he was seen talking to a teenage boy at a cricket match.

“Looking at it globally this man has had an issue for at least 26 years,” said Mr Ainge. “More recently has been asking a young boy to visit him in Norfolk and there can only be one reason why he has extended that invitation.”

Mr Richard Prew (defending) said the Sexual Offences Prevention Order prohibited Gidlow from having any contact with boys under the age of 16.

“He accepts how foolish he has been in relation to his behaviour towards this young boy, but there has never been any repetition of the index offences,” said Mr Prew. “He did not for one minute expect the boy to visit him in Norfolk.”