A convicted paedophile has lost a High Court battle to stop his offences being disclosed to the fathers of his new partner’s two children.
The man, who cannot be identified, took legal action after a Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland decided to reveal details of his past crimes.
He claimed it would threaten his safety and disrupt his relationship with the mother of the boy and girl.
But a judge ruled today that the risk posed to the children by non-disclosure outweighed any interference with his private life.
Dismissing the judicial review challenge, Lord Justice Gillen said: “The grim truth is that the squalor of this applicant’s sexual predilections carry with them a dark, disquieting opportunist edge.”
The 35-year-old man, referred to as MW, was jailed in 2009 for a series of sex offences.
They included: three counts of indecent assault on a 13-year-old girl; four counts of child abduction; two counts of gross indecency; and aiding and abetting indecent assault on a female child.
He had carried out sex acts on a girl with special needs after making contact through a social network.
MW also has a previous conviction for indecently exposing himself to an 18-year-old female.
Following his release from prison he met his current partner through a local church.
The woman, who has children aged 14 and 7 from two previous relationships, is aware of his offences.
Even though MW is prohibited from contact with her children, the court heard he breached the terms by taking the woman’s daughter to church services.
The Trust wanted to disclose to the fathers of the girl and her brother that MW has been convicted of child sex offences.
It was also seeking to inform them that a written agreement is in place banning him from contact with the children until assessments are completed.
According to the Trust provision of those details would only be revealing information already in the public domain.
MW argued that its plans were unlawful, disproportionate and breached his right to private life.
He also claimed one of the fathers is violent and the other has paramilitary links - putting his safety in danger.
Rejecting his case, however, the judge held that the Trust is pursuing a legitimate aim of protecting children.
According to Lord Justice Gillen “the shade of these criminal offences still lingers”.
He pointed out that MW had first targeted a very young woman alone on a country road, and then abused a girl with “a profound disability whom he ruthlessly exploited over a period of weeks unknown to her parents and associates”.
The judge stressed: “These offences expose a cold, calculating predatory mind, alert to the opportunity to exploit defenceless young women and children in circumstances where there are unlikely to be independent witnesses.”
He held that any modest precaution to prevent a significant risk of harm to the children cannot be ignored.
Although contracts were drawn up in a bid to supervise MW, Lord Justice Gillen concluded they were insufficient to deal with the potential dangers.
Describing the alleged threat posed by the fathers as speculative and unclear, he added: “I am not satisfied that the applicant’s partner is fully aware of the risk that this man may present.”