Published: 11:51, 16 March 2012 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
An innocent dad-of-two is living in fear after being wrongly identified as a paedophile who shares his name.
Terry Edwards has been punched in the face, had his car set on fire, verbally abused, shunned by the community and threatened - all for a crime he didn't commit.
The 26-year-old, from East Malling, had his life was turned upside down last year after a Snodland pervert, also called Terry Edwards, was jailed for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
The two men also have a similar look, despite being nearly two decades apart in age.
Now, while the fiend serves his four-year sentence, the innocent Mr Edwards is too scared to leave his house and has slumped into depression.
Unemployed Mr Edwards' ex-partner is even considering changing the surname of their two sons, to avoid the unjust stigma attached to their dad.
"I'll be walking down the street and people will say 'that's the nonce' or just shout paedo at me," he said. "It's the worst thing to ever happen to me. What that man did is disgusting and I would never do anything like that.
"I'm scared to walk near a school or be seen with my 13-year-old niece, just in case someone thinks I'm doing something wrong."
"it's the worst thing to ever happen to me. what that man did is disgusting and i would never do anything like that…” – innocent terry edwards
The first indication something was wrong came when a brick was thrown through Mr Edwards' living room window just after the predator was sentenced in July. Three months later his Peugeot car was set on fire.
Mr Edwards is speaking out now, after his sister was questioned by a member of staff at a primary school in Larkfield.
He said: "A member of staff said she'd read about me in the paper. My sister put her straight but it just shows what people think. I want my kids to go to that school, it's where I went, but now I'm worried they will be linked to this."
He added: "I hope people will realise I'm not who they think I am. I want my life to go back to normal."
The paedophile Terry Edwards is serving a four-year jail sentence after admitting one charge of sexual activity with a child.
A court heard how the 42-year-old, of Ritch Road, Snodland, had "slowly but surely" insinuated his way into the younger girl's life, professing his love and even offering marriage.
Before that conviction, Edwards had already been put on probation on 1987 for indecently assaulting a boy and was jailed in 1993 for a series sexual offence with a boy.
He will be on licence for a further two years when released from prison, and is on the sex offenders' register for life and barred from working with children.
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