– frisking passengers
James Burns was employed as an aviation security officer and passed a criminal record and counter terrorism check.
A convicted sex offender landed a job at Manchester Airport frisking passengers – despite facing fresh allegations of abusing a teenage boy.
James Burns, 56, was employed as an aviation security officer and passed a criminal record and counter terrorism check.
The checks failed to highlight his convictions for historic sex assaults because the Police National Computer at that time did not include all offences from the 70s and 80s.
But Burns was also being investigated by police over new allegations of abusing a 16-year-old boy when he was offered the job in 2013.
He failed to tell his bosses about the allegations and it was not until he was convicted after a trial at Manchester Crown Court in March this year that Burns came clean with bosses and his seedy past came to light.
Burns, of Church Street, Westhoughton, Bolton, was suspended on full pay but has still not been sacked despite this week being given a nine month sentence suspended for two years, a 12-month supervision order, made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, and placed on the sexual offenders register for ten years.
Burns was found guilty of four counts of sexual assault on a 16-year-old boy.
The sexual offences prevention order means he cannot be allowed unsupervised access to any children under 16, and must not seek to befriend any male under 16 years old.
Between August and December in 2007, Burns assaulted the victim telling him that he was gay, despite Burns being happily married with a wife and children.
As well as assaulting the victim, Burns bombarded him with sexually explicit and suggestive text messages, telling him that no one would believe him if he told anyone about the abuse.
The victim received up to 40 text messages a night of a sexual nature and said he was showered with gifts and cash by Burns.
At the time of the offences Burns ran his own courier business. His firm folded in 2010 and he later applied for and got the job at the airport in 2013.
His latest victim only came forward in 2012 after seeking medical help from his GP.
It was revealed during his trial that Burns had previous convictions for indecent assault on a teenage boy in 1980 when he impersonated a police officer, and two convictions for public order offences in 1983 and 1984 for propositioning young men for sex in the Shifnal Street area of Bolton.
Burns worked as an aviation security officer at the airport, and his role included physical contact with passengers, checking them as they go through security when boarding.
A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “All security officers are given a criminal records check and a counter terrorism check, before they can be based at a UK airport, and the checks highlighted no disqualifying offences.
“Had the check shown up the offences from the 1980s Burns would have been disqualified from working at the airport.”
A spokesman added that Burns remained suspended on full pay from his job.
The Police National Computer database is continually being updated with historic offences. The MEN understands the offences carried out by Burns had not been added when he was arrested in 2012.
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