Bomb disposal experts were called, neighbours evacuated to a nearby church and residents of a Cambridgeshire road now know who to blame – a paedophile with a passion for guns.
A cordon was placed around a house in Parson’s Lane, Littleport, after police discovered – 10 days after arresting Paul Page on sex offences – they learnt of his secret stash of weaponry.
While Page was on bail, officers were alerted to a stash of rifles, pistols, and crossbows, which were being kept in a shed at his former home in Littleport,” said a police spokesperson.
“Firearms officers seized 74 items – including 25 firearms.”
The operation to remove the weapons from his former house was carried out by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit from Colchester.
“Police turned up at 11am and they’ve been coming and going all day,” one resident said at the time.
“They’ve told people to leave their houses, and everyone is being looked after at the church.”
One resident reported that 15 residents with their children and pets decamped to the nearby church.
East Cambridgeshire District Council were also on standby for a possible worst-case scenario of moving the affected residents into Littleport Leisure Centre with sleeping bags for an overnight stay.
The conclusion to the case came this week when Page, a registered sex offender, was jailed.
He was found with child abuse images and whilst on bail police returned to his former Littleport home where they discovered his haul of illegal weapons.
Page, 49, was being monitored by police after he was previously convicted of child abuse in the USA.
On 16 May, he was arrested at his then home in Littleport after intelligence suggested he was in possession of indecent images.
Page admitted he had been downloading indecent images of children on to a USB stick and digital tests revealed a total of 254 – 113 category C, 32 category B and 109 category A – the most severe.
Ten days later, while Page was on bail, officers were alerted to a stash of rifles, pistols, and crossbows, which were being kept in a shed at his former home in Littleport.
Firearms officers seized 74 items – including 25 firearms.
On Wednesday (30 August), at Peterborough Crown Court, Page, formerly of Littleport but now no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, six counts of possessing a weapon in a private place and two counts of possessing a weapon for the discharge of a noxious liquid/gas/electrical incapacitation.
He was handed a prison sentence of one year and eight months and a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) was put in place for 10 years to monitor any future offending.
He remains on the Sex Offenders Register for life following his conviction in the USA.
DC Andrew McKeane, who manages sex offenders in the community, said: “Page is a dangerous sexual predator, and I am pleased he has faced justice.
“Offenders are closely monitored to ensure they are complying with orders – to protect the public and help prevent further crime.”
Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to a child, can apply for disclosure information through Sarah’s Law.
Anyone who looks out for the welfare of a child can make an enquiry. This can include parents, carers, guardians, extended family, friends, and neighbours.
Convicted paedophile Paul Page (inset) and the police cordon in May in Parson’s Lane, Littleport.
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