Mum discovered paedophile had moved onto her street – but was warned to keep it secret

A MUM-OF-TWO who outed a paedophile on her street was taken to court after she warned others about him.

Claire Varin, 37, became suspicious of a new neighbour when he knocked on her family's door and asked if their eight-year-old daughter wanted to go berry picking with him.

Claire used Sarah's Law – officially known as the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme – to ask police whether her neighbour had any record of crimes against kids.

It was then she discovered he had previously been jailed for possessing child abuse images.

Under the conditions of Sarah's Law, Claire was made to sign a non-disclosure form, preventing her from warning anybody else.

However she later outed him and was taken to court.

The charges were eventually dropped, but following the ordeal, Claire separated from her partner and moved away from the street she lived on.


Sarah Payne had been playing with older brothers Luke and Lee and younger sister Charlotte in a field outside her grandparents' rural home in Kingston Gorse, West Sussex when she vanished.

Michael Payne and his then wife Sara made a series of heart-rending appeals for her safe return, but her body was discovered 16 days later in a shallow grave just a few miles away.

Whiting was sentenced to life behind bars in January 2001, and is held at HMP Wakefield, dubbed the Monster Mansion due to the number of high risk sex offenders imprisoned there.

It later emerged that Whiting was already on the Sex Offenders Register after abducting and sexually attacking another eight-year-old.

Her brutal death remains one of Britain's highest profile child murders and led to the introduction of Sarah's Law following a lengthy campaign by her mother.

Claire said: "It makes you question how effective the law is. It's meant to be there to protect children, but we can't share the information – technically you aren't even supposed to tell your partner, although the police did accept I was going to do so to protect my children.

"We were just left to deal with this information. We were told a paedophile had moved onto the street and we were expected to just live with it.

"The person who is disclosed to, how can you sit back and just watch them interact with children? You are just as bad then, it is on your conscience."

The 37-year-old carer added: "The stress of it all meant I didn't want to live there anymore. He refused to move out until just a few months ago.

"All I had done was what anyone else would have done."

Sarah's Law was introduced following the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne by paedophile Roy Whiting, in July 2000.

The rule allows concerned parents or grandparents to contact police to find out if a new boyfriend, or a neighbour, who has contact with a child, has a history of child sex offending.

Such disclosures have nearly doubled since 2011.

Donald Findlater, director of child abuse helpline Stop It Now!, said it was "reassuring" to see figures rising.

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