A judge has ruled that the publication of the identity of a Polish sex offender living in Shirebrook be permitted despite police concerns about rising tensions in the town.
District Judge Andrew Davison confirmed Marcin Lucasz Jaworski’s details and previous rape conviction can be reported without a ban during Derbyshire Constabulary’s application to place him on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Judge Davison told a Chesterfield magistrates’ court civil hearing on Friday: “A fundamental principle is open justice which is a hallmark of the law. The media plays a vital role in the upholding of that principle on behalf of the public.”
Police Sgt Mark Church’s statement argued about ten per cent of the town’s population is Eastern European and the largest percentage of that group is Polish and this has put “social strains” on the town’s facilities. A Public Places Order and a Public Spaces Protection Order had to be imposed to stop street drinking causing tensions, according to police.
Sgt Church added tensions reached a peak in 2015 and the police Safer Neighbourhood Team had to be strengthened after two incidents involving Polish males and alleged assaults including a stabbing.
Residents’ group Shirebrook Together has held protests, according to Sgt Church, and one revealed a deep-seated mistrust of foreign nationals.
Sgt Church stated: “I am under no illusion that another trigger incident could easily reverse all the good work that has been achieved.”
He argued Jaworksi, 20, of Eland Road, Langwith Junction, Shirebrook, who has a previous notice for street drinking, is vulnerable, lives with others who could be put at risk and he may leave the area if identified.
Sgt Church, who revealed social media has previously been used to identify a local man accused of a sex offence, stated he was confident police could monitor Jaworski without wider public awareness.
However, the Derbyshire Times challenged the proposed restriction on the grounds publication is in the public interest and in the interests of public safety and potential unrest should not be allowed to outweigh these greater concerns. The newspaper argued any reporting restriction would also affect its intention to investigate why a foreign national, convicted in Poland in 2014 of rape, was allowed residential status.
District Judge Davison added: “I am not satisfied that such a restriction can in any way be justified.”
Due to Jaworski’s absence, the police application to place Jaworski on the Sex Offenders’ Register was adjourned until May 5.