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PAEDO TO FIGHT BUS RIDE BAN; He claims human rights breach.


A SEX attacker convicted of trying to rape a girl aged 11 has been granted legal aid to challenge a bus travel ban.

John Bermingham, 43, faces going back to jail for allegedly breaching restrictions on his movements designed to protect children.

But the father-of-five claims the Sexual Offences Prevention Order granted against him at the end of a nine-year jail sentence breaches his human rights.

His lawyer Ann Ogg yesterday told judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal the Scottish Legal Aid Board had agreed funding.

Bermingham was arrested last November and spent eight months in jail after allegedly flouting the travel ban on buses in Carronshore and Falkirk in Stirlingshire.

Bermingham was at the hearing in Edinburgh with two police officers because he cannot travel alone for his own safety.

He lives at a secret address to avoid trouble with neighbours. Bermingham, who once featured in a Crime Watch episode while on the run, was jailed in 2002 for attempting to rape the 11-year-old and a further sex attack on a teenage nursing assistant the same day in Edinburgh.

The SOPO bans him from buses at times when school children are likely to use them.

Bermingham's bid to lift the restrictions is thought to be the first challenge to a SOPO.

Ms Ogg also said she hoped his appeal would go to the Court of Session in Edinburgh rather than a sheriff court.

Lord Osborne, sitting with Lord Clerk and Lady Dorrian, also permitted Bermingham to change address after hearing he had police permission.

Last month, when he was freed on appeal after serving eight months, advocate depute Dorothy Bain said that the addresses "cannot be put into the public domain".

She added: "The reason why there has to be this secrecy over the addresses is the previous history of difficulties surrounding his placements and some local unrest surrounding that."


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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 8, 2009
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