First resident is smuggled into new paedophile unit

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LENNIE SMITH, a notorious child molester, became the first resident yesterday of a new purpose-built accommodation block for released paedophiles that has been set up in the grounds of a prison.

Smith, who recently finished a 10-year jail sentence for a series of sex attacks on a six-year-old boy, was smuggled into Nottingham prison at 5.30am. The event passed off without major incident despite the angry protests staged last month by local residents opposed to the setting up of the unit.

Prison officers at the jail warned yesterday that Smith, 44, who is HIV- positive, is a free man who could leave the prison whenever he pleases. But Nottinghamshire police said that the paedophile would not be allowed to go outside the prison walls without a police escort.

Protesters living close to the prison in the residential Sherwood district of Nottingham said they were disappointed and saddened that Smith had been placed in the new accommodation unit. They said they were determined to keep a close eye on developments to see if anything would go wrong.

Each resident in the unit, which comprises three bedsits consisting of a bedroom, kitchen area and private bathroom, will be made to sign an agreement to abide by a set of rules.

Smith, who has been living in hostel accommodation in London since leaving jail, was allegedly so nervous about his release that he suffered a breakdown in May while in Wakefield Prison. He also reportedly begged for police protection once he was freed.

The child sex killer Robert Oliver, 46, is expected to be the second resident at the new unit. He was jailed for 15 years for his part in the death of a 14-year-old rent boy, Jason Swift, in 1985. Jason was drugged and raped by up to 12 men before being killed and his body dumped in the Essex countryside.

Oliver served ten years of the sentence before being released. Because he was jailed before 1992 he is not affected by the Criminal Justice Act, which requires statutory supervision of certain ex-offenders.

Soon after his release, Oliver began to be hounded from town to town as he sought sanctuary and anonymity. He spent four months living in a Sussex police cell before being housed in a medium-security psychiatric unit in Milton Keynes, where his stay costs about pounds 320 a day.