TOP STORY: Sex offender in vicinity stuns mum

REBECCA STEVENSON
A Napier mother feels sick that a teenage paedophile is back living within walking distance of her home - after he jumped her fence repeatedly "looking for an opportunity" to be alone with her five-year-old daughter.
Mataroa Barton, a convicted sex offender, will live in a Napier suburb and attend a programme targeted "at his special needs", said Child Youth and Family spokesperson Lee Harris-Royal.
He would be under 24-hour supervision and there was an alarm at the address he was to live.
Barton, 18, appeared in the Napier District Court yesterday charged with breaching his supervision order. He pleaded guilty and Judge Tony Adeane gave him a deferred sentence, ordering him to come up for sentence if called on within 12 months.
Barton had previously been under a fulltime supervision order while living in Tamatea but more than 13 times slipped away to his neighbour's property.
At the time, CYF deputy chief executive Ray Smith said it was "the last opportunity for him to address his behaviour and not receive a custodial sentence".
Ms Harris-Royal said the 18-year-old was now with different caregivers and an investigation into his care was continuing.
But the mother whose complaints triggered Barton's appearance in court is distraught that the youth is "just down the road". She is planning to leave her home.
"He knows where we live. How do we know that my daughter is safe, that other people's children are safe?"
The address and suburb where Barton will stay have been suppressed but the woman said it was only 2km from her house.
"I just can't believe it.

He has proved he is a high risk of reoffending. It was only luck that nothing happened with my daughter - someone else may not be so lucky."
The woman, 36, said she was very angry he was allowed back into any community.
She said she was upset and distressed to think she could "bump into him walking down the street". It was taking a toll on her health and although she could not afford to shift that was her only option.
Napier MP Chris Tremain said sometimes "guys like Barton need to be institutionalised".
"I can't understand how he can be placed back in Napier, near to this woman's house."
He said there was no assurance for local people that Barton wouldn't escape again.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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