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Neighbours tell notorious sex offender who gave pensioner HIV and is now banned from contact with children: 'We don't want you back here'

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 25, 2014

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Derek Hornett

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Neighbours who were fooled into be-friending a notorious sex offender who changed his name said he is not welcome back to their village on the outskirts of Exeter.

Derek Hornett, who was jailed for deliberately infecting an 82-year-old woman with HIV, has now been banned from any contact with children.

He spent a night alone in a tent with a nine-year-old girl and detectives feared he may have been planning to procure her for two known paedophiles he befriended at a hostel for ex-offenders.

Hornett, aged 53, has also been banned from contacting North Devon child abuser Terrence Kelly and Torbay-based Michael White because of fears they may be a danger to children.

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The three men met at a post-release half-way house in Teignmouth after all three had been jailed for separate sexual crimes.

Hornett, who also used the name of James Defalco, befriended a family which had young children and introduced the other two without revealing their past offending.

He gained the trust of the parent to such an extent they allowed him to take a nine-year-old girl out alone in his car and to share a tent with her in their garden.

There has been no indication of where Hornett will go after he leaves the half-way hostel. But those who had befriended Hornett as he went under the guise of ‘friendly’ neighbour James Defalco, and offered to mow a neighbour’s lawn and fix a youngster’s car, said he was not welcome back in their village near Exeter.

One said: “He was considered a good neighbour by a lot of people here. Now we know what we do we feel at risk and I hope he stays away. He will certainly not be welcome here now we know what he is capable of.

“We were shocked when we found out about his past. What sort of sicko does things like that?”

Another neighbour said: “Surely he will not show himself around here again. If he does, he will be made very clear what people here think of him”.

Hornett is an HIV-infected sex offender who was banned from having any contact with anyone over 60. He was jailed for six months for breaking this strict court order.

In 2005 he was one of the first people in Britain to be jailed for recklessly infecting a partner with HIV. He admitted causing grievous bodily harm to an 82-year-old woman who he befriended.

He was jailed for three years and three months at Exeter Crown Court and after his release he moved near Exeter.

He was released in 2007 but made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) which banned him from having any contact with anyone over 60.

He was jailed again in 2009 for a further three years at Exeter Crown Court for breaking the order by approaching vulnerable elderly women and offering to do odd jobs around their home.

He changed his name to James Defalco and was subsequently able to once again keep his past from his new neighbours.

In his latest hearing Judge Francis Gilbert, QC also extended his Sopo to prohibit unsupervised access to any child under 16.

He is now required to tell the parent or guardian of any child he meets about his criminal background, which includes a caution and a conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse.

Hornett opposed the extension of the order but Judge Gilbert agreed it was necessary after reading a report from a police public protection officer.

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