Sex offender returned to prison after child abuse conviction

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A paedophile has been jailed for 14 years by a judge who described him as posing a continuing danger to children.

Stuart Clowes, 61, was convicted by a jury last month on three charges of sexual assault on a girl under 13.

Sentencing him yesterday at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Neil Clark ordered Clowes of Barden Road, Wakefield, to serve an extended four years on licence after his release from the 14 years.

He said the victim remained shocked and upset at what had been done to her. She had not spoken out at the time about Clowes molesting her out of fear.

“One can only begin to imagine the physical and psychological trauma of a girl being subjected to abuse by an adult.”

He said reports suggested Clowes continues to pose a high risk of harm to the public and children in particular, adding “and I agree with that”.

The court heard the offences came to light after Clowes was arrested for having indecent images of children on his computer.

He had initially fled to the Phillipines after computer equipment was seized in a police raid on his home but later returned to the UK and was arrested at Heathrow Airport.

He appeared at Leeds Crown Court in 2009 and was jailed for three and a half years for the indecent images offences after the court heard he had more than 20,000 photographs and videos some showing children as young as six being tied up and abused.

Sentencing him on that occasion the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC said: “They reveal a degree of depravity that is beyond belief. That children should be subjected to such appalling abuse is truly terrifying.”

“The reason they are so abused is because people want to watch those movies and look at images and are prepared to pay for them.”

The court heard Clowes was also jailed for six years on an earlier occasion after he was convicted of a serious sex offence involving a child and possession of other indecent images of children.

Charlotte Eastwood representing Clowes, who still denies the sexual assaults, told the judge yesterday he had made progress on courses since his 2009 sentence.

Judge Clark said the reports also unfortunately contained the suggestion that Clowes appeared to gain some sexual gratification from the type of discussions involved in such courses, which supported the view that a sentence was needed to ensure protection of the public.