Sex of­fender caught out by voice­mail

Western Mail - - NEWS - JA­SON EVANS and JOE THOMAS news­desk@waleson­

ASEX of­fender’s se­cret meet­ing with a group of chil­dren was busted when he left a record­ing of the in­ci­dent on a po­lice of­fi­cer’s voice­mail.

Steven Cle­ments ac­ci­den­tally rang the of­fi­cer while meet­ing the chil­dren, aged seven and 13, with 14 min­utes of the meet­ing doc­u­mented in the record­ing.

He is now back be­hind bars af­ter an­other breach of a court or­der – this time linked to his dis­ap­pear­ance to Wales as he fled “vig­i­lantes”.

Cle­ments, 40, was locked up in 2000 for six counts of in­de­cent as­sault on boys aged nine, 10 and 13 and put on the sex of­fend­ers reg­is­ter. He was also made the sub­ject of a sex­ual harm pre­ven­tion or­der.

For­merly from Wil­las­ton, Wir­ral, the ex-bas­ket­ball coach moved to Devon and one of the con­di­tions of the or­der was that he kept in contact with po­lice.

Han­nah Ge­orge, pros­e­cut­ing, told the court that in Fe­bru­ary this year Cle­ments was liv­ing in Ply­mouth.

How­ever, when of­fi­cers called at the ad­dress they had listed for him they were told he had re­cently left.

The last contact po­lice had with Cle­ments was on March 15 when he reg­is­tered with them as be­ing of “no fixed abode”.

He then dis­ap­peared and did not reg­is­ter any per­ma­nent ad­dress with po­lice as he was re­quired to do.

Swansea Crown Court heard that on Septem­ber 12 a man was ar­rested for steal­ing a lap­top com­puter from a Tesco store in Pem­broke Dock.

He ini­tially gave a false name but when his fin­ger­prints were checked on the po­lice com­puter, the shoplifter turned out to be Cle­ments.

Cle­ments, of Lon­don Road, Pem­broke Dock, pleaded guilty to fail­ing to com­ply with no­ti­fi­ca­tion re­quire­ments and to theft from a shop.

The court heard he has 15 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for 32 of­fences, eight of which are for sex­ual of­fences, as well as four breaches of his sex­ual of­fences pre­ven­tion or­der.

Miss Ge­orge told the court one of his breaches in­volved the contact with the seven and 13-year-olds – with him be­ing caught af­ter he in­ad­ver­tently rang a po­lice of­fi­cer on his mo­bile phone while with the young­sters and left a 14-minute an­swer­phone mes­sage which recorded his meet­ing.

In 2016 he was jailed again af­ter try­ing to stop a rape vic­tim giv­ing ev­i­dence against a friend he met be­hind bars.

Cle­ments was of­fered cash by the in­mate to contact the vic­tim’s mum and threaten her fam­ily the day be­fore a ma­jor rape trial was due to start.

He was ar­rested af­ter walk­ing into a court­room and de­mand­ing cash from the de­fen­dant as he stood in the dock.

Dan Grif­fiths, for Cle­ments, ac­cepted his client’s fail­ure to no­tify the po­lice of his where­abouts had been a “per­sis­tent and lengthy” breach of the or­der.

He said the de­fen­dant had been forced to flee Ply­mouth af­ter de­tails of his sex­ual of­fend­ing be­gan to cir­cu­late on so­cial me­dia in the area and he be­came the sub­ject of “al­most daily threats” as well as of an ac­tual as­sault.

The ad­vo­cate said Cle­ments went to Ex­mouth and then Ex­eter be­fore mov­ing to live with friends in Pem­broke Dock.

Judge Keith Thomas sen­tenced him to 20 months in pri­son for breach­ing the or­der and two months for shoplift­ing. The judge re­voked the ex­ist­ing or­der and im­posed a sex­ual harm pre­ven­tion or­der to run for 10 years.

> Steven Cle­ments

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