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Paedophile on run discovered paying boys 8p for sex acts

Posted Date: Thursday, 19-Jul-2012

A PAEDOPHILE on the run from Derbyshire police has been convicted of fresh offences in Cambodia, where he paid young boys as little as 8p for sexual favours.

Ian Bower, who fled a Derby bail hostel in 2006, has now been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting five boys aged between 11 and 15.
Now, a group that campaigns against child sex tourism has claimed it warned the Home Office in 2007 that Bower would strike again but it took no action. The 46-year-old will be deported to the UK at the end of his jail term, when Derbyshire police will arrest him and he will be dealt with for breaching his licence conditions.

He was one of five convicted sex offenders on the run from Derbyshire police that the Derby Telegraph named in an article in February 2010.

The following month, the paper's crime reporter traced one of them, Richard Guelbert, using a social networking website, and then tracked him down to a Swiss village.

Bower, formerly of Ilkeston, was first convicted and sentenced in 2004 for three years and nine months at Derby Crown Court for sex offences against a boy and downloading indecent images of children.

He was released from prison on licence in January 2006 on the condition he lived at Burdett Lodge bail hostel in Bass Street, Derby. He went missing in February 2006.

Children's rights organisation ECPAT UK first alerted British authorities that Bower was in Cambodia in 2007, after he was arrested for abusing two brothers, aged 12 and 14, while in the country teaching English.

The case against him was dropped after the boys withdrew their statements. Because the UK does not have an extradition agreement with Cambodia, he was able to remain in the country.

Yesterday, Christine Beddoe, director of the campaigning organisation, said: "We are appalled by the inaction of the UK Government who failed to negotiate a diplomatic arrangement to request Cambodian authorities to deport Bower.

"Innocent children were abused because the UK was unable or unwilling to seek the removal of Bower from Cambodia.

"Bower is a wanted and dangerous criminal in the UK – he now should serve his sentence in Cambodia and face the full power of the British courts when he returns."

She added that when Bower returns to the UK he should be put on the Sex Offenders' Register for life and be subject to a Foreign Travel Order, which would ban him from travelling abroad.

Bower came to the attention of campaigners in Cambodia, in January 2007, when they discovered he appeared to be having inappropriate contact with two brothers.

This was reported to the Cambodian police, who arrested him on January 20, 2007, and filed his case to the Municipal Court in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

But later a charge of debauchery was dropped after the two brother reversed their statements, testifying in favour of Bower, and he was released from custody.

However, Vando Khoem, project officer in the French equivalent of ECPAT – End Child Prostitution and Trafficking – said it kept Bower on its radar.

Mr Khoem said: "He kept contacting the two boys. We again reported the case to police for action.

"However, after police interviewing the two boys there was little evidence to prove his guilt and the case couldn't go forward."

Then in early 2011, the organisation discovered that Bower had been in contact with five boys in a community about 20 km from Phnom Penh.

The information was reported to anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection police and Bower was rearrested on November 13, 2011.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court heard he had driven his dirt bike to a pagoda compound, a public area in which a Buddhist monk lives, when it was quiet.

He then played movies and cartoons on his mobile phone to attract the boys and then took the opportunity to sexually molest them.

He paid the boys between 500 and 10,000 Cambodian Riel, which is equivalent to between 8p and £1.55.

He was charged with an indecent act against a minor.

He was convicted after a trial and on Mondaywas jailed for two years. He was fined 1,000 dollars and ordered to pay each of the victims 500 dollars.

Following the hearing, Bower's lawyer, Dun Vibol, told the Derby Telegraph that his client did not accept the verdict and was appealing.

Mr Vibol said: "He claims he is innocent.

"In my opinion, the sentence is acceptable but the compensation is too much."

In Cambodia, Bower, a former special constable in the UK before his first conviction, worked for the Cambodian Air Traffic Service, teaching English to adults.

A Home Office spokeswoman said the Government department did not "routinely comment on individual cases". She said there was no formal extradition treaty, though this did not necessary rule out a UK extradition request being made.

Sourced: thisisderbyshire

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