Family members cleared of helping paedophile facing child abuse trial to flee country

Frank Burgon
Frank Burgon

Four people have been cleared by a jury of perverting the course of justice after a twice-convicted paedophile fled to Europe.

George Burgon and Alison Connor were alleged to have helped Frank Burgon flee the country in a yacht - before holing up in Turkey and Spain - just days before he was set to stand trial over child abuse claims in March, 2013.

All three family members, along with Burgon himself, were facing a charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice during a trial at Teeside Crown Court.

All four denied the offence.

Officer, George Burgon and Connor all told the crown court trial they did not believe he was guilty of child abuse.

Prosecutor Paul Newcombe said Frank Burgon used another family member’s passport to travel to France on March, 2, 2013.

Officer, who is Burgon’s partner, said she had told Burgon to return home in phone conversations after he exited the country.

The jury heard Frank Burgon’s brother George collected him at Los Palmas airport and took him to an apartment.

He said he and his wife stayed in Gran Canaria during the winter and had allowed him to temporarily stay with on the agreement he would cut short his holiday and fly home with him.

Alison Connor, who is Frank Burgon’s niece, told the jury she tried to contact him while he was on the run because she was concerned for his welfare.

Hartlepool man Frank Burgon, 79, now of Borough Road, Middlesbrough, George Burgon, 77, and Connor, 52, both of Old Bungalow, Field House Farm, Dalton Piercy, and Officer, 63, of Bruntoft Road, Hartlepool were found not guilty after a jury delivered a unanimous verdict following less than two hours of deliberations.