Man accused of paedophile offences kills himself after vigilante attack

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An accused paedophile killed himself days after a vigilante mob attacked his house and forced him to flee with his family. James White, aged 54, was named in a 100-word local newspaper report detailing his appearance before magistrates on seven charges of indecently assaulting young girls.

An accused paedophile killed himself days after a vigilante mob attacked his house and forced him to flee with his family. James White, aged 54, was named in a 100-word local newspaper report detailing his appearance before magistrates on seven charges of indecently assaulting young girls.

Soon after, a mob of 70 men attacked his semi-detached council house in Oldham, Greater Manchester, and threatened to firebomb it. The Whites left under police guard.

Last Sunday, the day before he was to face two further charges, Mr White died from an overdose of tablets. His solicitor, Milton Firman, said Mr White had been "literally scared to death". As he lay dying in hospital he told his wife: "I did it to protect you".

Mr White had no previous convictions and his name had not appeared in the News of the World. A friend of the family said: "No one is condoning what he did. It was wrong, but his [family] are not the ones to suffer and blame. This man was their husband, father and grandfather and he never did anything to cause them concern."

But one father in Mr White's street said yesterday: "We have a right to know who lives in our street so we can protect our children. This man knew the possible consequences when he did these horrible things. As parents we could not stand back and do nothing."

Two weeks ago, in the same area of Greater Manchester, Iain Armstrong, a 49-year-old with three children, who has viral meningitis and a spinal disorder, was attacked by locals mistaking him for a paedophile.

In Anglesey, a 34-year-old man has been forced to flee the village of Llanerchymedd, though he had not been listed by the News of the World. A police investigation into claims that he sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl has not led to charges.

Yesterday, a convicted paedophile named by the News of the World challenged the paper's research. Brian Hudson, 50, an electrician and former care worker in Congleton who was jailed for four years in 1995 for sexual assaults at a children's home in Cheshire, is appealing against his convictions. He said: "With all the high-risk offenders in Cheshire the odds were against me ever appearing in the News of the World ... and [my] case is under appeal. I was released early by the Home Office because I am so low risk. The paper listed me as being part of a paedophile ring and the police disproved this.

"They said it never existed. The News of the World never researched or picked up on my appeal."

Comments