Brierfield paedophile tried to lure boys back home

BEHIND BARS: Philip Reece
BEHIND BARS: Philip Reece

A CONVICTED paedophile said to have tried to lure two young football fans back to his home after games is behind bars for 19 months.

Philip Reece was the subject of a 10-year sexual offences prevention order, banning him from associating with any child under 18. But, Burnley Crown Court was told, he had regularly approached two 14-year-old friends at the football and sought to tempt them to his house. Police caught him on CCTV at Accrington Stanley’s ground “playfully rubbing” his head against one of the schoolboy’s.

The hearing was told the teenagers were spoken to by officers and said Reece had told them he could get them “booze” disguised in Coca-Cola bottles. The teenager told police Reece, who had seemed friendly at first, became aggressive and had scared him by putting him in headlocks.

The court heard the defendant claimed he had never had a sexual interest in children. Judge Beverley Lunt, who said his flouting of the order was “repeated and persistent”, said because of his refusal to accept he had a problem, the only way to protect children from him was to lock him up.

Reece (46), of Chapel Street, Brierfield, was convicted of allegations of breaching the sexual offences prevention order between January and September, 2011.

Mr David Macro (prosecuting) said on September 3rd last year, police became aware of the defendant leaving the Barnet v Accrington Stanley match in Barnet. They looked at CCTV footage from Accrington’s home game against Crewe two weeks later and saw Reece on the terraces near some males under 16.

Mr Macro said police later spoke to the youngsters and one of them said he had seen Reece four or five times at the football.

The teenager told officers he remembered him play fighting with him at the Crewe match and said the defendant did that sort of thing “now and again.”

Mr Macro said the other boy told police he had seen Reece at practically every home game and some away matches. The teenager said Reece would approach him and start speaking to him. He asked him if he wanted to go to his home after the game and told him he would buy him a Jack Daniels.

Mr Macro said when Reece was questioned by police, he said he had been drinking Jack Daniels before the Crewe game. The prosecutor told the court: “He said the lads were coming up to him in the ground. He said he vaguely remembered rubbing someone ‘s head but didn’t mean anything by it.”

Mr Macro said the defendant was given the SOPO at Norwich Crown Court in October, 2007.

Mr Martin Hackett, for Reece, urged the court to impose a suspended sentence. He said: “His offending behaviour which caused him to receive the SOPO took place in 2007. Serious behaviour, but behaviour which has not been repeated.

“He has struggled to accept first of all his guilt in regard to his initial offences and thereafter the motivation for these matters.”

Passing sentence, Judge Lunt told Reece: You will not accept that you have a perverted attitude towards children. That being so, there is no wrk that the probation service can do with you. The only way to protect children under 18 from you is to send you to prison.”