POLICE have vowed to protect the public by targeting sex offenders like the paedophile who assaulted a six-year-old girl as she swan at Swansea’s LC leisure centre.
Paul Roberts, of Maes Y Felin in Bridgend, was jailed for 30 months, after admitting assaulting the young girl in June.
The 40-year-old, who was already subject to a sexual offences prevention order made at Cardiff Crown Court in April 2011 after assaulting another young girl at a swimming pool, told police he had been to several other pools across west Wales since the order had been put in place.
The NSPCC, meanwhile, have advised parents such incidents involving strangers remain rare.
Roberts was stopped when two teenagers caught hold of him until police came to arrest him.
Detective Inspector Darren George, of Swansea Central CID, said: “The prompt action of the two young men to pursue and detain Roberts is to be highly commended.
“Roberts is a sex offender who has clearly targeted a young child at a public swimming pool to indecently assault her. The young girl was at the LC with her family enjoying herself until this incident occurred; clearly this was a very traumatic and upsetting for the youngster.
“The public need to be protected from individuals such as Roberts and the sentence handed down to him by the court indicates this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”
The order made in Cardiff was to last for five years, but Swansea Crown Court was told it was not working, as Roberts had reappeared before court on a number of occasions for not co-operating with it.
The court heard Roberts went to the LC, in another breach of his order, and put his hands inside the girl’s bikini, before touching her thigh.
NSPCC national head of service for Wales, Des Mannion said: “This is a disturbing case of child sex abuse and we are glad to hear that the young girl is doing well.
“Cases like this are rare. We know that most abusers are known to their victims and are more likely to be a relative, neighbour or family friend than someone the child has never met before. But no matter who the perpetrator is, it is important to remember that sexual abuse causes untold harm to many children.
“Any offender with a history of child sex abuse should be considered a risk to children’s safety for the rest of their lives.
“This is why it’s so important they are closely tracked and monitored by the police.”
Nic Beggs, general manager of The LC, added: “The safety and security of visitors to the LC is of paramount importance to us. We welcome the news of Paul Roberts’s prosecution for this very serious incident.”