Con­victed pae­dophile was vol­un­teer at ten­nis club

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

A CON­VICTED pae­dophile has been vol­un­teer­ing at a top fam­ily ten­nis and squash club – by help­ing take videos of chil­dren in a tour­na­ment.

Re­peat of­fender Ben Heath, 41, be­came a mem­ber of pres­ti­gious Edg­bas­ton Pri­ory Club where he helped record ju­nior matches for a live stream.

But he was pre­vi­ously jailed for 14 months in Oc­to­ber 2014 and placed on the sex of­fend­ers regis­ter for 10 years after be­ing con­victed of hav­ing in­de­cent im­ages of chil­dren.

Heath, from Ja­coby Place, Edg­bas­ton, has sim­i­lar of­fences dat­ing back to 2007. In April 2017 he re­ceived a six-month prison sen­tence, sus­pended for 18 months, after he ad­mit­ted three of­fences of fail­ing to com­ply with the sex of­fend­ers’ regis­ter.

Yet de­spite the long his­tory of of­fend­ing, Heath was able to be­come a mem­ber of Edg­bas­ton Pri­ory Club, based in St Harry’s Road, and was in­volved in run­ning a live video stream of chil­dren tak­ing part in a tour­na­ment in Jan­uary.

But he was sus­pended and left the club after a mem­ber be­came sus­pi­cious and dis­cov­ered his past of­fences after search­ing on­line.

His crimes in­cluded him re­ceiv­ing a sus­pended sen­tence in 2007 after ad­mit­ting down­load­ing a to­tal of 15,419 in­de­cent im­ages of chil­dren, in­clud­ing 13,577 at level one.

In Au­gust 2013 he was fined £500 after fail­ing to com­ply with the re­quire­ments of the sex of­fend­ers’ regis­ter.

And in Oc­to­ber 2014 he was jailed at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court after po­lice seized his com­puter equip­ment and found a to­tal of 7,230 im­ages of chil­dren. Heath, then of River­lea, Made­ley, Stoke, had pleaded guilty to eight of­fences of mak­ing in­de­cent im­ages of chil­dren.

A spokesman for Edg­bas­ton Pri­ory Club said they were alerted to Heath’s of­fend­ing on April 23 by se­nior man­agers.

“The club took im­me­di­ate ac­tion to pro­tect the safety of our ju­niors by sus­pend­ing the mem­ber and no­ti­fy­ing West Mid­lands Po­lice, so­cial ser­vices and any mem­bers who, we were aware, knew the mem­ber con­cerned.

“As of to­day, the po­lice have in­formed the club that there is no ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing by the in­di­vid­ual whilst a mem­ber. The in­di­vid­ual is no longer a mem­ber of the club.

“In Jan­uary 2018, a ju­nior squash tour­na­ment was held at the club. As is stan­dard with tour­na­ments of this na­ture, there was a live video feed of matches. The in­di­vid­ual did as­sist in the live feed, along­side fel­low team mem­bers.

“The club has ro­bust safe­guard­ing pro­ce­dures in place which are reg­u­larly re­viewed. All staff and coaches who work closely with chil­dren, in a po­si­tion of trust, un­dergo Dis­clo­sure and Bar­ring Ser­vice checks prior to tak­ing up any po­si­tion in the club.

“The in­di­vid­ual was at no time placed in a po­si­tion of trust.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.