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'Revolting' paedophile moved in with two women and kids while supposedly being monitored by police - call for review into his supervision by lawyers and ex-police

A "REVOLTING" paedophile was able to move in with two women and their children on separate occasions while he should have been strictly monitored by police and the Probation Service under a specialist restrictive order designed to keep the public safe.

Essex News and Investigations can today reveal how Danny Burns (above) flouted a sexual harm prevention order (SHPO) for more than a decade before he was finally stopped and jailed for 24 years last month<Jan>.

Over 11 years Burns, 39, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, also managed to pose as a police officer, change his name, travel abroad and acquire a string of electronic devices to escalate his offending into blackmailing girls and women for explicit images seemingly under the noses of child protection officers.

Lawyers and former police officers have called for a review into his monitoring across three police force boundaries from 2010 to 2021 in light of the high number of breaches of his order.

Last month he was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court for committing dozens of blackmail and online sex offences against at least 35 victims aged between seven and 54.

Burns was charged with 46 counts including blackmail, attempted blackmail, causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, arranging the commission of a child sex offence; making and distributing indecent images of children, possessing extreme pornography, malicious communications offences and failure to comply with notification requirements.

He admitted 41 counts and was found guilty of a further two on 30 August last year, following a two-day trial at the court.

Between May 2018 and March 2021, while still under the SHPO, Burns used "sugar daddy" websites to trap dozens of unsuspecting females into performing sexual and degrading acts under the threat of blackmail.

Burns attempted to contact approximately 600 people around the world with the intention of sexually exploiting them.

All the victims were ordered to film themselves carrying out sexual acts in the belief they would be paid £600, but the money was never transferred to them. When he had received enough explicit material, Burns threatened to expose the pictures to the victims’ families and friends unless they sent more increasingly depraved photographs and videos.

A seven-year-old girl in the US was abused by her mother following sustained coercion by Burns.

National Crime Agency (NCA) Operations Manager Robert Slater said: “Anthony Burns was a revolting sexual offender.

“My first thoughts go out to his victims, many of whom showed immense courage by providing vital evidence to secure his conviction.

“The control he sought over them, some of whom were young children, was sinister, manipulative and heartless."

His known offending dates back to 2010, when Burns was living in Hertfordshire and turned up at the home of a 14-year-old girl he had been speaking to online and grabbed and kissed her before she got away and police were called.

In September that year he was sentenced for meeting a child under 16 following sexual grooming, her sexual assault and possessing extreme images and sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, with a 10-year SHPO.

But, he was back in court in December 2013 after the same police force discovered he had moved in with a woman who had three children aged under 18, including two aged under 16.

His sentencing note to the court written by the prosecution said: "Mr Burns had met the woman on a dating website called ‘Uniform Dating’. He had told her he was a police officer; he attended her home on one occasion in a police car, and he showed her what purported to be a police identification card.

"He failed to notify police of his address, or that there were children present – both of which he was required to do. He breached his SOPO by having unsupervised access to the children."

When he was arrested for the breach he was found to have had several hundred indecent images of children on devices and also found were records showing he had changed his name by deed poll without informing police.

He received a total of two years in prison for all the offences and the SHPO was extended until 2023.

In March 2017 he was convicted of another breach of the order after he travelled abroad without notifying police, but escaped with a fine.

Burns is believed to have begun is online sex extortion campaign in 2018.

In August that year he moved to London, so monitoring became led by the Met Police.

The NCA began investigating him over the online extortion in 2019 after his details were found in communication when he was being taught how to exploit people by the notorious online child sex offender Abdul Elahi, (above) who was jailed for 32 years in December 2021 after targeting 2,000 people globally to commit sadistic online abuse.

In February 2019 he was arrested and his mobile phone and computers were seized and forensically examined by the NCA.

But he was not charged and continued to offend between a series of interviews up to June 2020, by which time he had moved to Lowestoft.

He was eventually charged over the extortion offences and appeared at magistrates court in October 2020, when he was alarmingly released with unconditional bail, despite his past.

A CPS spokesman confirmed that its prosecutor did not request for him to be remanded into custody, but was unable to say why.

It is understood that at the time courts were avoiding sending people into prisons due to fears of overcrowding during the coronavirus pandemic.

He was later given conditional bail until March 2021 when it was discovered he was living with another woman with children.

Burns was convicted of further breaches and jailed while the extortion investigation continued.

Former Met Police DCI Dave McKelvey said for Burns to be able to move in with two women with children whiles supposedly being monitored was remarkable.

He said: "We used to wait outside prisons and follow the worst convicted paedophiles when they were released. I know resources are tighter now, but it looks like Burns wasn't being monitored at all if he was able to move in with women and kids and he just escalated his offending. This should definitely be looked at in terms of how he was monitored."

Rachel Fletcher, Head of Crime and Regulatory at Slater Heelis Solicitors: "This is a case and a prime example of where the system post sentence has failed. Rehabilitation in the community totally failed and there was a clear failure to safeguard and protect innocent parties. His behaviour was escalating and despite this, no enhanced monitoring took place.

"The SHPO has failed and without doubt this needs to be reviewed as a matter or priority."

Scott Primmer, of Reeds Solicitors specialising in serious sexual offences: "Considering the established high risk Danny Burns (above in an NCA video) posed to women and children, and his flagrant offending for a protracted period, it must be the case that there was a lack of effective supervision by those responsible. It is deeply concerning that he was able to live with children that were clearly at risk and to continue to use electronic devices to facilitate his offending."

Seema Dosaj, criminal lawyer at Berris Law: "It does seem there were significant failings in monitoring Danny Burns. If he was under a SOPO, the police should have been aware of his living arrangements, devices, and any potential risk factors.

"The fact that he was able to move in with women with children and continue offending suggests a breakdown in the monitoring process. This could be due to a lack of resources, oversight, or a failure to enforce the conditions of the SOPO effectively.

Given the repeated offences and the apparent failures in monitoring, there appears to be a need for a thorough review of the case."

Police and the Probation Service are supposed to monitor offenders under SHPOs under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA).

A Probation Service spokeswoman said: "The Probation Service was involved in supervising Burns during his licence periods until 2012 and after the 2013 conviction until 2026. Any other periods was down to police."

A Hertfordshire Police spokeswoman said: "Danny Burns was managed by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Offender Management Unit between July 2010 and August 2018.

"During this time regular checks were made to ensure that he was complying with the terms of his Sexual Offences Order.

"However, Burns was a prolific and determined offender who continued to offend despite the stringent conditions of his order and the regular checks of his electronic devices and phones.

He was charged and convicted again in 2013 with numerous offences. He was released in August 2016 and left the Hertfordshire area in August 2018.

"We remain ambitious about the way we manage offenders who consistently flout the legal orders placed upon them and continue to learn from the challenges these issues present us."

A Met Police spokeswoman said: "Burns was registered as living in London between August 2018 and February 2020, during which time he was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order that had been issued in 2013. He was also subject to notification requirements under the  Sexual Offences Act 2003.

"He was supervised by a local team, which included unannounced home visits, examination of his internet enabled device(s) and periodic reviews of his risk assessment.

"In February 2020, Burns was arrested after failing to register an address he had stayed in for seven days or longer, which he was required to do. He was charged and remanded at court, and later convicted for this offence in March 2021."

A Suffolk Police spokesman said: "A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Burns was a managed by Suffolk Constabulary Public Protection Unit as a High Risk Sex Offender between April 2020 and March 2021.

“He was also subject to bail conditions which included wearing a GPS tracker and had a significant curfew which meant he was only able to leave his address for 4 hours each day.

“At the time the country was in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Stringent ‘lockdown’ rules existed at the time, including not being able to enter properties, which presented challenges for policing.  

“During this period the PPU continued to visit Burns and bail checks were also being made but, it was not business as usual for routine policing activity.

“That said, whilst we can never eliminate risk entirely, it is clear more could have been done in terms of intrusive and in-person checks on Burns and his activities within his home address and more importantly whilst on-line.

“Cases like these illustrate the lengths some of the highest-harm sexual offenders will go to, on occasions deviously using technology to conceal their activities from law enforcement agencies.

“The Public Protection Unit has reviewed its policies and procedures in terms of the ability to review digital devices.

“Officers and staff within the department have attended bespoke national courses to enhance their knowledge around examining digital devices and Suffolk police has invested in portable hardware to examine devices during home visits.

“The department also has a dedicated Digital Support Officer who attends visits to provide advice and interrogate devices enhancing the visits.”

The FBI aided the NCA’s investigation and helped locate victims in the United States.

Most of Burns’ other victims lived in England but there were also people in the Channel Islands and Australia.

Incriminating evidence uncovered by NCA investigators from Burns’ phone highlighted the scale and propensity of his offending, and that he was blackmailing several victims simultaneously.

The NCA liaised with New Zealand authorities to recover all of the abuse material Burns had saved separately from his devices on a cloud storage platform. This proved he had retained the depraved material he demanded from his victims.

It was the analysis of this material which led to NCA investigators identifying the child and mother in the US. The child has since been safeguarded and the mother has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Bethany Raine, Specialist Prosecutor for the CPS, said: “Anthony Burns had an obsessive interest in controlling women and children into performing increasingly degrading sexual acts online for his own gratification.

“Burns belittled and humiliated women. They became trapped in a web of fear where their own images became tools of manipulation and extortion, leaving them vulnerable to his depraved demands.

“His conviction sends a clear message that the CPS is committed in bringing offenders like Burns, who sexually abuse and exploit victims, to justice, wherever that abuse takes place.”


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