John Cronin relocated ahead of protest

John Cronin outside court in 1992 over sexually assaulting Judy X. Picture: Bill Henry
John Cronin outside court in 1992 over sexually assaulting Judy X. Picture: Bill Henry
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SEXUAL predator and conman John Cronin has been moved out of East Lothian – ahead of a planned angry protest outside his parents’ home.

The convicted rapist, who has a criminal record stretching back for more than two decades, had been released early from a prison in Northern Ireland after being sentenced to a year for stealing £50 from a group of nuns.

A source told the Evening News a mass protest had been planned to take place outside his parents’ property in Tranent later today, but Police Scotland have since confirmed he has been moved – and that the sex offender is no longer living in the area.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that John Cronin has been moved under the terms of his licence conditions, and is no longer resident in East Lothian.”

Officers would not be drawn on where he has been moved to.

Residents reacted furiously this week after learning Cronin had moved back to the town and his movements were not restricted.

Police attempted to reassure the public that they would be keeping a close eye on the violent pervert, once labelled “one of the most dangerous sex offenders in Britain”.

Residents said the police had no way of reassuring them he wasn’t still a threat, with one adding: “The protest would have seen people come from far and wide to voice their disgust. I’m just pleased he’s gone from here, good riddance to him.”

The return to Tranent had seen Cronin, who served his first jail sentence for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, return to Scotland for the first time in 15 years. He left the country after serving a six-year sentence for the crime which made him notorious.

In 1992, Cronin posed as a priest in order to gain entrance to the Edinburgh home of a Conservative Party worker known as “Judy X”, who he then repeatedly sexually assaulted. She was also savagely beaten.

Cronin was originally sentenced to life imprisonment for the attack, but had his sentence cut on appeal. He is not listed on the Sex Offenders’ Register as it did not exist at the time of his original offence.

In 1997, Cronin, who has committed more than 50 offences, including for dishonesty and fraud, was sent back to jail after targeting women in politics, this time by making harassing and threatening phonecalls.