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Old January 28th, 2010 #2
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Default Paedo warning over Townsend

Paedo warning over Townsend

RESIDENTS in Miami, Florida have been sent leaflets warning of a sex offender in their midst British rock legend PETE TOWNSHEND.

The 64-year-old guitarist is due to perform with The Who during the halftime show at next month's Super Bowl.

He was cautioned by cops in 2003 for accessing child porn on the web and placed on the sex offenders' register for five years.

The National Football League has drawn criticism from child abuse campaigners, who say Townshend should not be allowed to take the stage at America's premier sporting event.


Protect our Children, a Florida activist group, has now stepped up its campaign by sending leaflets to people living near Landshark Stadium in Miami Gardens, which is hosting the glitzy event on February 7.

Bearing a photograph of a grinning Townshend and headlined "Sex Offender Advisory", the fliers warn: "Townshend is a British citizen who was registered as a sex offender in his home country in 2003, for an offence related to child pornography.

"He will be at large in Miami in February when he arrives to perform at the Super Bowl with his musical group known as The Who.

"This is a community notification distributed in the interest of public safety."

Listing his height as 6ft and his weight as 185lb, the leaflets give the musician's full name of Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend.

They have been printed in both English and Spanish and are due to drop through residents' doors today.

The move comes after Protect our Children and another group, Child Abuse Watch, failed to persuade organisers and sponsors of the Super Bowl to drop Townshend from the halftime show.

Evin Daly, founder of Child Abuse Watch, said: "Even someone looking for a job as a groundskeeper at Land Shark Stadium wouldn't get hired with a sex offender status in his past why then does Townshend?"

He added in a letter to the NFL's vice-president Roger Goodell: "This is the person you intend to use as entertainment for the Super Bowl - a sex offender.

"There is no room for tolerance or excuses for any crimes that involve the most innocent among us our children.

"You and the NFL must realise that you too have this duty and not reward a known, recorded sex offender with a Super Bowl show."

But the controversy has failed to put off sponsors of the mega-event, which include Coca-Cola, Burger King, IBM and Visa.

The NFL is also standing by Townshend, a divorced father of three, noting that he was only ever cautioned and never criminally charged.

The singer claimed he only looked at child pornography on the internet as part of a "research project".

Townshend was one of 3,744 people arrested in the UK as part of Operation Ore, a nationwide police crackdown on internet perverts.

The Who is considered one of the greatest and most influential rock groups of all time, selling 100million records worldwide and notching up hits with songs including Pinball Wizard, My Generation, Substitute, and Won't Get Fooled Again - now the theme tune to the TV crime drama CSI Miami.

Townshend, whose career with the group spans 40 years, was named one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.
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