A PAEDOPHILE ex-soldier continued to work in care homes where children visited and vulnerable adults lived even after being convicted.

Shane Townson was jailed for ten years last month for a string of indecent assaults on children in Colchester in the Nineties and when he was serving abroad in the Royal Corps on Transport in the Eighties.

His victims bravely came forward as adults in 2017 and Townson made admissions when quizzed by police.

However he was not summonsed until September this year when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court and admitted the more recent attacks.

His guilty pleas made him a convicted paedophile and placed him on the Sex Offender's Register but he was granted bail until November's sentencing hearing at Ipswich Crown Court where he admitted the overseas offences and was jailed.

Despite his admissions at the lower court, he continued to hold down his job as a maintenance manager for AbleCare which runs three homes in Cornwall close to Townson's home in Old Vicarage Gate, St Erth, Hayle.

Townson's wife was the area manager at the firm and has since quit.

Concerned staff said Townson had access to the vulnerable residents with young relatives and primary schools pupils often visited the sites.

They said they were completely unaware of any investigation, admissions or sentencing until reading about it online.

AbleCare's directors - David McInulty, Constance McInulty, Jason McInulty and Jacqueline Akhurst, said in a statement: "The owners and directors of the Ablecare homes had no knowledge of this matter whatsoever prior to Friday November 22. [The day Townson's sentence was publicised.]

"Mr Townson, as with all staff working in our care homes, had a criminal records check prior to his employment with the company, which gave no indication of any sexual offences of any type.

"No allegations of misconduct have been made against Mr Townson at any time during his employment with us. The police have never contacted us on this matter.

"Neither Mr Townson nor Mrs Townson informed us of pending court action against Mr Townson.

"We were shocked to hear of his conviction.

"Mrs Townson has tendered her resignation with immediate effect.

"Our company strives to operate to the highest standards at all times and we regret this matter has occurred, but it was completely outside of our knowledge and control."