'Serial sexual predator' back in custody

Published Tuesday, 29 April 2014
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A "serial sexual predator", once the subject of a UK and Ireland wide manhunt, has been remanded into custody.

'Serial sexual predator' back in custody
The convicted sex-offender appeared before court on Tuesday. (© UTV)

William John Paden, 60 and from Ballyrainey Road in the town, appeared in the dock of Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Tuesday charged with failing to notify police of his home address on dates between 18 November last year and 15 April this year, breaching the terms of the sex offenders register notification requirements.

Objecting to his release, a detective from the PSNI Public Protection Unit revealed that Paden had been assessed as a "category two offender" and outlined how, with his previous record, current attitude and "incapacity to change," there was "clear and identifiable evidence that he could cause serious harm through carrying out a contact sexual offence".

He said police were objecting on the grounds there was a "high risk" of Paden reoffending given his "extensive history" of committing sex crimes and that he would not abide by any court imposed conditions given his multiple previous breaches of Sexual Offence Prevention Orders and his lifelong requirements to be on the sex offenders register.

The officer further revealed that in June 2010, police in Lancashire had to launch a UK and Ireland wide appeal after Paden went on the run from an address in Blackpool.

Following a week long manhunt with reported sightings in England, the Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland, officers from An Garda Síochána eventually arrested Paden in Co Cavan where he was jailed for four months after admitting the breach.

Paden has 19 sexual convictions dating back to 1974, including indecent exposure, assault with intent to rape, indecent assault on a female child, using a telecommunications device to send abusive/indecent messages, rape, incite a child to engage in sexual activity and recently breaching his Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

Solicitor Hugh Ross submitted that Paden could be released on bail with "robust conditions," telling the court that his wrongdoing was not telling police that he had begun a new relationship with "a lady in her 40's" whom he had been staying with.

That lady, he told the court, is standing by Paden "not withstanding the fact that she is now armed with the knowledge" of his previous offending, adding that for the last six months "he had been happy for the first time in his life".

Refusing the bail application, however, District Judge Mark Hamill said Paden was a "serious, serial sexual predator," had an "appalling record" and had repeatedly refused to comply with bail conditions and other court orders.

Ordering Paden to appear again via videolink on 22 May, the judge said immaterial of what approach the Public Prosecution Service took to the case, "I will refuse jurisdiction" and instead have him dealt with in the Crown Court where he would face a maximum of five years in jail if convicted.

© UTV News
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