11:04AM, Thursday 28 February 2013
Fundamental questions must be answered over how a convicted child sex offender managed to gain a part in a Maidenhead theatre production with a cast including 14 children, a parent of one of those children believes.
The angry dad contacted the Advertiser after the paper revealed last week that Reese York, who has been convicted of child sex abuse, had been cast as Captain Von Trapp in the Grimm Players' version of the Sound of Music.
Mr York stepped down from the role when he heard the paper planned to run a story on him, but claimed a trained police worker from the Public Protection Unit was aware of his involvement from the start.
The parent, who has asked not to be named, called for an inquiry into the police and probation service's handling of the issue, saying his child should never have been put into this position.
The force has declined to comment on the specifics of the case.
"You can't just shut up shop and brush it under the carpet," the parent said.
"It's absolutely wrong.
"They must have known the Sound of Music was going to have children in."
Police have issued a statement which said they 'do not confirm or deny the location and movements of sex offenders' unless there is 'significant risk' to the public.
The statement said the force's overriding concern would always be the safety of the public.
But it added: "Routinely providing information to the media regarding sex offenders would pose a real risk that could lead to them going underground, in turn making managing them much more challenging to monitor, which in turn could possibly lead to reoffending."
The Advertiser contacted the office of Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld but was told he too would not comment on individual cases, and was directed back to the force.
The Sound of Music performances went ahead as planned at the town hall last week.
Mr York was replaced by an understudy.
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).
A teenager who died after getting into difficulty in the Jubilee River has been described as a ‘gentle giant’ in a tribute from his school.