Ronald Atkinson – Torbay, Devon

​Ronald Atkinson, 78, has been visited in his taxpayer-funded private room by two other convicted child-sex perverts, according to a horrified source

A jailed paedophile pensioner has been moved to a care home on the English Riviera costing up to £1,700 a week.

And Ronald Atkinson, 78, has been visited in his taxpayer-funded private room by two other convicted child-sex perverts, according to a horrified source.

Elderly residents who welcome their grandchildren were unaware of the vile history of their new member and his twisted friends.

The Government watchdog the Care Quality Commission also had no idea that Atkinson had been moved to the luxury home in Torbay, Devon, halfway through an 11-year jail sentence for rape and gross indecency.

Last night, after the worried source had alerted us, police were investigating possible breaches of Atkinson’s parole licence.

Our source said: “I was shocked when I found out they were taking Ronald Atkinson as a resident because I read up about what he had done and obviously many of the residents are grandparents who have children coming to visit them.

“I assumed there would be increased ­security around him but there was nothing of the sort. The external doors just operated with a push button door release with a big green button.

“He had a phone too. Normally paedophiles on licence aren’t supposed to have them in case they access the internet.”

Atkinson was jailed for 11 years in August 2011 after he admitted charges of rape, gross indecency and indecent assault on two girls aged under 16 some 30 years apart in his home town of Plymouth.

In December, after medical problems, he was transferred from Category C prison Channings Wood, near Newton Abbot, Devon, to the specialist care home in the ­greater Torbay area.

Our source came forward after being outraged that Atkinson was said to have been visited in the home two other notorious child abusers.

The source claims one is Jake Ormerod, 24, who was jailed for 10 years in 2011 for a series of sex attacks on eight girls under 15 whom he had groomed on social media and then plied with drugs and booze. His offences came to light during Operation Mansfield, a police ­investigation into a suspected paedophile ring in the area.

His sentence was reduced in 2012 to seven years by three of the country’s top judges. It meant Ormerod was entitled to automatic release after three-and-a-half years.

Our source said the other alleged visitor was Anthony Cross, 69, who has been­ ­repeatedly jailed for serial sex attacks on young boys and girls, dating back to 1965……
Our source said: “They had both served time for child sexual offences. I was shocked.

“I can only guess at what subjects they discuss in Atkinson’s room but I bet it isn’t world politics.

“What worries me is that they do get a lot of young children coming in to visit their grandparents.

“How can the authorities be so stupid and take such risks with ­vulnerable kids? It makes me furious. Something should be done.”

The owner of the care home, which we are not naming for the safety of the other residents, claimed that a risk assessment had been done before they took on Atkinson as part of a contract drawn up with the local council. He admitted that Atkinson had a phone in his private room but could not confirm or deny his meetings with other abusers.

He would not confirm who is paying the bill but it is believed to be the taxpayer.

The scandal will shock families who are footing huge bills to put their loved ones into care homes.

At least one state-funded care home in North Devon has closed in the past year with some residents having to be rehomed in hospitals because of a shortfall in the area’s NHS budget.

A friend close to Atkinson’s family said: “They don’t want any more to do with that man. He may not be well but they don’t care.

“What he did was despicable. They were aware he had been released early and believe it should still be about six months until his official date.”

“As you can imagine it is still upsetting knowing he’s no longer in prison.”

After we approached the care home, ­security has been increased with two highly-trusted nurses looking after Atkinson round the clock.

An official complaint is also understood to have been made about visits from other paedophiles.

The Care Quality Commission which ­oversees care homes visited on Thursday after being informed of Atkinson’s presence. They confirmed he was there as a result of a contract between the home and the local council.

Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Any ­report the police receive of a potential breach of licence conditions is robustly investigated and if confirmed, appropriate and ­proportionate action would then be taken.

“There are clear and robust processes in place to manage sex offenders when released from prison.”

A highly-placed police source added they would be looking into the allegations that Ormerod and Cross had visited Atkinson.

He said: “As a standard police response we will look into and visitors Ronald Atkinson has to the home and whether those ­relationships are appropriate.”

Jenny Moore, founder of care home ­campaign group Your Voice Matters CIC, said: “I am extremely concerned.

“There is an increase in initiatives in care homes where schools and childrens’ groups visit to bring generations together.

“There are also children who visit their relatives and wander, with many areas of the home accessible for opportunists.”

Devon County Council was unavailable for comment.


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