A CALL to tighten laws on sex offenders has been made after it emerged rapist Clive Sharp had been freed after previous attacks on women.
Catherine Gowing’s murderer should never have been walking the streets, says a leading politician.
Sharp was not being monitored by police or probation. His convictions, including rape, pre-dated public protection systems so he fell under the radar.
Cllr Bernie Attridge, deputy leader of Flintshire Council, said the lack of information on Sharp “was a complete failure that has robbed Catherine Gowing of her life” and he called for an immediate overhaul of the laws on sex offenders.
The Leader can reveal Sharp’s last contact with the probation service was in 2001 after his release from an eight year sentence.
But Sharp’s convictions for false imprisonment and unlawful wounding were not sexual offences and came a year before the sexual offences register was introduced.
This was set up in 1997 and does not list retrospective convictions.
So Sharp’s rape of a 15-year-old girl in 1983 and an attempt to choke a woman in 1994 also went unlisted.
Similarly Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) – a system to manage sex offenders – did not come into play until 2000 but by then Sharp had already revealed to a sex offenders programme his sick fantasies of tying up, raping and strangling a woman .
Cllr Attridge said: “How a dangerous man with conviction after conviction can slip through the net is beyond me. When he admitted his fantasies about raping and killing a woman, alarm bells should have been ringing everywhere that this man should never be released.
“People like him should never have been let out in the first place, but to draft a register and not put such a dangerous person on it just because of a date is hard to understand.
“Forget the date. Clive Sharp slipped the net.
“He said he wanted to rape and kill a woman, and he has done exactly what he has said he would do.”