Euro sex crimes loophole revealed

A RAPIST was able to enter the country and live in Suffolk without police knowing - because neither he, nor the German authorities, were obliged to declare his conviction, it can be revealed today.

Juozas Kancauskas is only on the Sex Offenders’ Register today as a result of a police officer making a thorough check of his background when the Lithuanian-national was arrested for a less serious offence.

Although the UK has a Sex Offenders’ Register other European states do not. And because Kancauskas, of Fore Hamlet in Ipswich, was convicted of rape in Germany, police in Suffolk were unaware of his past.

The case has triggered calls from Suffolk’s MPs for a tightening of laws in Brussels and better information sharing amongst European police forces.

Once the 43-year-old’s conviction came to light, Suffolk police’s public protection department applied for him to be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life. That application was granted yesterday by District Judge David Cooper at South east Suffolk Magistrates’.

Karly McGuire, representing Suffolk Constabulary, had told the court that unless Kancauskas disputed his conviction, it was obliged to make the order.

Asked through a Russian-speaking interpreter if it was true he had been convicted of rape, he replied: “I don’t deny it”.

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Kancauskas is now required to notify the police of his personal details, any change of address, and when he is travelling abroad.

Dr Dan Poulter last night praised the diligence of Suffolk police and actions of Judge Cooper.

He said: “We need a proper exchange of information so that the people of Suffolk are kept safe from potentially dangerous or violent offenders.

“In the European context it is all very good telling Britain what to do when it comes to business but actually not very good at important issues such as public safety. I think this case serves to highlight that.”

After the case concluded, it emerged how police in Suffolk only found out Kancauskas’ rape conviction for a joint attack, at the District Court of Hamburg on May 9, 2006, following an argument with a woman in Ipswich.

Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “The German authorities did not have any obligation to tell us about this man, or that he had come over to England. He, as an individual, does not have an obligation to tell us either.

“His conviction was for rape, but we don’t know the full details of the offence.

“We found out when he was being investigated for other matters. The investigating officer carried out enquiries in Germany, and also with the UK Border Agency which can make enquiries about previous convictions.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The UK Border Agency holds a watch list of international intelligence drawn from a variety of sources, including the police. The system is used by UK Border Agency staff for the purposes of national security and the detection and prevention of crime.

“We will not accept foreign criminals breaking UK laws which is why Europeans who commit serious offences will be automatically considered for deportation.”

When the matter relating to Kancauskas arguing with the woman came before Ipswich magistrates on November 2 he was fined, and given a restraining order not to contact her until a further order is made.

The previous day he had admitted criminal damage and sending a malicious communication.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service the criminal damage offence occurred on September 23.

Kancauskas and the female – who had a broken leg – had got into an argument. He then threw one of her crutches into the river near Lidl in Handford Road, Ipswich.

The following day he threatened her via a text message.