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PARENTS are keeping their children on a short leash after discovering a convicted paedophile is living in their village.

Surfleet parents were shocked to discover that Paul Tumber, who molested a nine-year-old girl, is now living in Seas End Road.

The 42-year-old was jailed for four years and nine months in 2003. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

It is believed he moved to Surfleet recently after being hounded out of his Scottish home by worried mums who started a Facebook campaign.

One Surfleet mum said: “I am very worried. My two boys play at Surfleet park, as do a lot of children, and it’s a bit scary to think there’s someone like this in the village that we didn’t know about.

“I will be showing my children his picture and telling them to beware and tell me if they see him.”

Surfleet Seas End Primary School headteacher Dawn Neal said she had not been aware of Tumber’s presence in the village but vowed to remind children about stranger danger in morning assembly.

She said: “These people have to live somewhere when they have completed their sentence, but we need to speak to our children about their safety and stranger danger.”

Tumber’s presence in Surfleet came to light after The Sun newspaper carried a story last Thursday claiming that he sometimes mans his wife Nicola’s teddy bear stall at toy fairs frequented by children.

A parish councillor said the news “left a nasty taste in the mouth”, but another concerned mum warned against vigilante action to drive Tumber out.

Fran Healands said: “One of my friends sent me a text to tell me and it will definitely be the hot topic at the school gates.

“Surfleet is a small village so word will spread like wild fire.

“It’s a concern to hear he is here and I will definitely warn my ten-year-old daughter, but I don’t want it to become a vigilante hunt.

“They say leopards don’t change their spots but these people do need rehabilitating in the community when they have served their sentence, but why does it have to be in a small village with a primary school and a park where a lot of children play?”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: “We are aware of Mr Tumber and he is being managed as a registered sex offender.

“This information contained in The Sun article will be taken into account and appropriate action will be taken to ensure the safety of the public.”