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Home   Ashford   News   Article

Family of Christine Hayes angry after murderer Martin Potts freed without signing sex offenders' register and free to roam parts of east Kent

12 December 2013
by Suz Elvey

Martin Potts has been released from jail

Martin Potts has been released from jail

The family of a woman murdered by her partner say they are disgusted the killer has not been made to sign the sex offenders’ register after leaving prison.

The Hayes family has also been told former firefighter Martin Potts may only be banned from Ashford and be free to visit other parts of east Kent where they could easily bump into him.

Adam Hayes, 31, was just 14 when Potts lured his mother Christine Hayes into Cuckoo Woods, Singleton, and beat and sexually abused her before strangling her to death with his bare hands.

Adam, now a father of two, said: “It’s devastating. You don’t get more of a sex offence than what he did to my mum.

“If I saw him now I would want to kill him. It’s all very well saying you shouldn’t do anything but when someone has done that to your mother - it’s difficult not to react.

“He should have to sign the sex offenders’ register otherwise no one else will be aware of it.

"Having him only banned from Ashford and not other areas will just affect our family but not being on the sex offenders’ register could affect anyone.”

Mr Hayes, who lives with his partner and their 10-month-old daughter and three-year-old son in Shadoxhurst, said the family is also angry about conflicting information given to them by the Ministry of Justice about where Potts is able to go following his release from prison.

Christine Hayes

Christine Hayes

He said they were initially told Potts would only be prevented from entering Ashford after his release, then told he would also be banned from Folkestone, Hythe and Canterbury and then finally told, just a few days ago, the ban was again only going to include Ashford.

He continued: “To everyone’s shock, it was decided that the only town that Potts needs to avoid is Ashford.

"He has been given an address outside the county but he is free to visit all the places he knows we frequent.

Adam Hayes, whose mother was murdered by Martin Potts

Adam Hayes, whose mother was murdered by Martin Potts

"This has left us all with trepidation whenever we leave Ashford. It is causing us so much distress that we might encounter him. This is so unfair and is making it so much harder for us to come to terms with his release.

“It feels like he has been released and now we have all been imprisoned in a different way.”

The newspaper clipping from the time of the murder

The newspaper clipping from the time of the murder

In May 1997, Potts claimed he was taking mother-of-four Mrs Hayes, then 43, to the woods to meet a person who had been sending her hate mail, but he had been sending the letters.

Potts subjected his girlfriend to a vicious beating, shattering her nose with his boot, before strangling her.

When her body was discovered the next day dumped near the couple’s home in Barnberry Close, Singleton, her clothing had been ripped down to her knees.

Her son Adam moved in with his aunt and uncle after the murder, as his father was working in Hong Kong.

Although Adam is qualified in construction he only works occasionally, as he is afraid he might bump into Potts if he’s sent outside Ashford.

A Home Office spokesman said the fact Potts was not on the sex offenders’ register was a matter for the “local courts and police”.

“It feels like he has been released and now we have all been imprisoned in a different way” - Adam Hayes

The Crown Prosecution Service said it was not aware of any complaint made by the family in regards to Potts not being made to sign the sex offenders’ register.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “Offenders who have served indeterminate prison sentences have their licence conditions, including exclusion zones, set by the Parole Board. Requests can be made to them to review these conditions.”

Potts was released from jail at the end of November and has a hearing this week to find out the conditions of his release.

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