Convicted paedophile was volunteer at tennis club
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.”