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Teens praised for catching paedophile at Swansea's LC leisure centre

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 03, 2012

TWO teenagers have been praised by a judge after they caught a paedophile who had attacked a six-year-old girl as she swam at the LC leisure centre.

Paul Roberts, 40, sexually assaulted the six-year-old girl as she swam at the Swansea leisure centre in June this year.

The bravery of two teenagers who caught him and held him until police arrived has been recognised by Judge Paul Thomas, who offered commendations to both.

Roberts, from Y Gorlan Maes Y Felin, Bridgend, was already subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order when he attacked the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

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That order had been made in April 2011 at Cardiff Crown Court after he assaulted another young girl while she was at a swimming pool.

He was given a three-year community order and a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order for that offence but Judge Thomas, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, said that order "did not work".

He said Roberts had re-appeared in Cardiff Crown Court on "several occasions" during that order for not co-operating with it, before he struck again in June this year.

Roberts went to the LC in another breach of his order and put his hands inside the girl's bikini, before touching her thigh.

Judge Thomas praised the two teens who caught Roberts.

"I will provide a written judge's commendation for both, in recognition for what I think is great bravery, to bring this defendant to the attention of the police and what is tantamount to a citizen's arrest," said Judge Thomas.

In his interview with a probation officer, Roberts later admitted he had been to several other pools across West Wales since the order had been put in place.

After his arrest, Roberts said: "I cannot behave myself."

Roberts pleaded guilty on the day of the trial, sparing his young witness having to give evidence.

"I had the privilege of meeting her before the trial. She is a healthy and well-adjusted child, but that is no thanks to you. It's thanks to her parents. You could quite easily have put her in a position where her life was affected by your depravity," said the judge.

"There's no doubt you have an attraction to young children which you are unable to control," said the judge.

Judge Thomas sentenced Roberts, who admitted a count of sexual activity with a child and another of breaching his Sexual Offences Prevention Order, to 30 months in prison.

He told him he would be made subject to another Sexual Offences Prevention Order, indefinitely and have to sign the Sexual Offenders' Register.

John Hipkin, representing Roberts, said his client would take part in an intensive sex offender treatment programme while in custody.

"A very close watch will be kept on you by several agencies," said the judge.

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