In the Media

Solicitor acts in sex offender register case

PUBLISHED March 19, 2013

Monday 18 March 2013 by Jonathan Rayner

Who? Nicholas Clough, criminal law solicitor at London and Yorkshire firm AA Mirsons.

Why is he in the news? He acted for George St Angeli, 71, the first convicted paedophile to have his name struck off the sex offenders' register (SOR).

In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that an offender should have the right, after an appropriate period, to apply to the local police force to be removed from the SOR. In 2012, the government responded to this ruling, saying that offenders may apply to be struck off the register after 15 years, but must show they have reformed to be successful.

St Angeli was jailed for five years in 1993 for sex offences against two young girls. He was released on parole in May 1996 and signed on to the SOR in September 1997 - a little more than 15 years ago. During that time, he has not reoffended.

However, his application to West Yorkshire police was turned down. He appealed and a district judge, sitting at Leeds Magistrates' Court, ruled that he was a reformed character and should be removed from the SOR.

Thoughts on the case: 'If Mr St Angeli doesn't fit the mould of someone who should be taken off the list, then it is hard to see who would. He is 71, lives alone in sheltered accommodation, had an exemplary military career and has a clean record since his release from prison. Removal from the SOR will mean no more police supervision, but that was only one 10-minute visit a year.'

Route to the case: 'Mr St Angeli, an old soldier, reconnoitred the courts and watched the lawyers in action. I caught his eye.'

Career high: 'Speaking on my feet at the Old Bailey, number one court.'

Career low: 'Arguing with the managing partner of a previous firm over how it was being run. I left and it subsequently went into administration.'