July 2017

Punishment for paedophile that molested four-year-old girl was too lenient

A serial paedophile with a history of abusing children from Somerset who was spared jail for grooming and molesting a four year old girl has been locked up by top judges at the second time of asking.

Kevin Jeffrey Rodgers, 42, now living on Belmont Street, Bristol, was handed a community order at Taunton Crown Courtin June.

He admitted two counts of indecency and two of indecent assault against a girl who was just four years old when he first molested her.

The crown court judge decided not to jail Rodgers, formerly of Chard saying his case was “exceptional”.

He had already spent time in jail for other sex offences against children in the past and had not offended since.

But he was today put behind bars for four-and-a-half years by judges sitting at the Court of Appeal, in London, who ruled the original sentence was far too soft.

Lady Justice Hallett told the court: “This is not an exceptional case, unfortunately.

“Rodgers repeatedly assaulted the victim sexually, and in a perverted way, against a background of grooming.

“She has had to wait years for the offender to be brought to justice for the offences he committed against her.

“He had the option of admitting them, instead he said nothing. He waited to see whether the victim would ever be able to make a complaint against him.

“Bravely, she was able to do just that – despite the pain and distress it caused her.”

The court heard Rodgers’ abuse of the girl stopped in 2002 when he was arrested for a string of sex crimes against young boys.

On that occasion, he was sentenced to six years in prison for performing perverted sexual acts on seven young boys aged six to 12.

He has since returned to prison three times for breaching his sexual harm prevention order, including in 2007 when he was spotted loitering outside a school in Bridgwater, and his latest offence in 2011 for which he served three-years in prison.

He was later jailed for six years for offences including indecency and possessing indecent photographs, and a sexual offences prevention order was made.

Overall, he had served the equivalent of a 10-year jail term.

A probation report concluded that another stretch in prison could have a damaging effect on the progress he had already made.

The crown court judge found that, in light of the report and the time he had already spent in jail, it would be better for him to serve his sentence in the community and get the help he needed.

But the Attorney General, Jeremy Wright QC, referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal, arguing it was “unduly lenient”.

Lawyers representing Mr Wright said the judge’s approach was wrong and didn’t take account of the seriousness of his crimes.

Jailing Rodgers for four-and-a-half years, Lady Justice Hallett said: “We are satisfied that we have no choice but to allow the application made by the Attorney General.”

June 2017

Convicted paedophile spared jail after admitting disgusting sex acts against four-year-old 

A convicted paedophile who admitted inciting a young girl to perform disgusting sexual acts when he lived in Chard has been spared jail.

Kevin Rodgers, 42, pleaded guilty to four counts involving gross indecency and indecent assault on a girl under 13 at Taunton Crown Court last week. She was aged 4

Rodgers, who now lives in Belmont Street in Bristol, pleaded guilty to one count of indecency with a girl under the age of 14 between 1998 and 2002.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to committing an act of indecency, and a further count of indecent assault on the same victim between July 19, 2001 and June 26, 2002.

Rodgers also admitted to indecency with a child between July 19, 1998 and June 26, 2002 after he incited a child to sit on his face while she was naked.

The court heard that Rodgers’ abuse stopped after he was arrested in 2002 for sexual crimes against other children.

On that occasion, he was sentenced to six years in prison for performing sexual acts on seven young boys aged six to 12.

He has since returned to prison three times for breaching his sexual harm prevention order, including in 2007 when he was spotted loitering outside a school in Bridgwater, and his latest offence in 2011 for which he served three-years in prison.

Paul Cook, representing the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “He is now 42 years old. At the time of these offences he lived in Chard. It is believed this abuse started when the victim was about four years old.”

The court also heard that Rodgers had exposed himself to the victim, and on one occasion he had laid on top of her when they were both naked.

In the victim’s impact statement, she said: “During the time of the incidents, I was left feeling like I was the only one doing something wrong. I was supposed to trust adults and I trusted him. I couldn’t understand the point of living.”

Recorder Donald Tait said: “These offences preceded the sentence in 2002. If these matters had been sentenced in 2002, how much longer would you have received in prison?

“I have been greatly helped by the pre-sentence report. It addresses significant issues and comes to the conclusion that, having not offended in six years, that the defendant can be managed within the community.”

Rodgers was sentenced to a three-year community order, a 90-day rehabilitation programme, three years of supervision by the probation service, and an electronic curfew between 6pm an 3am.

The judge added: “If you do reoffend in the future, there is only one place you will be going and it will be for a very long time. The only way that could be addressed is by locking you up.

“This is your last opportunity, Mr Rodgers, before it is prison, prison and prison again.”

April 2017

Man pleads guilty to multiple child sex offences

A MAN has pleaded guilty in court after he was charged with multiple allegations of child sex abuse in Chard which date back to the late 1990s.

Kevin Jeffery Rodgers, 42 of Belmont Street, Easton, pleaded guilty to  three offences today at Taunton Crown Court which are said to have been committed on various dates in the town.

Rodgers pleaded guilty to one count of indecency with a girl under the age of 14 between 1998 and 2002.

The defendant also pleaded guilty to committing an act of indecency on the same victim by inciting her to urinate into a glass.

He also pleaded guilty to a further count of indecent assault on the same victim between July 19 2001 and June 26, 2002.

Rodgers was released on conditional bail and will be sentenced on June 2.

May 2011

Paedophile back in jail after following teen boy into toilet at Bristol church

A PREDATORY paedophile who pursued a 14-year-old boy into a toilet after targeting him at a church has been sent back to jail.

Kevin Rodgers, 36, met the boy at a church in central Bristol in January last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard that he followed the boy at church gatherings and tried to talk to him about homosexuality, despite being banned by a court order from having any contact with children after a previous sexual assault on a youngster.

Rogers was arrested after the boy’s mother spotted him following her son into a community centre toilet and alerted the church minister, who had already warned her about the paedophile’s background.

Rodgers, of City Road, St Paul’s, had been jailed for indecently assaulting a boy aged under 14 in 2002. Four years later he was made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which made him subject to 11 separate conditions aimed at stopping him from coming into contact with children.

Yesterday’s three-year jail sentence was his third for breaching the order.

David Hunter, prosecuting, said Rodgers started attending the church, which along with the boy cannot be identified for legal reasons, early last year.

“After the services there is a social gathering, which a 14-year-old boy also attends,” said Mr Hunter.

“Rodgers engaged him in conversation and would move to get the boy’s attention to talk to him.

“Sometimes the boy would go outside to play football and the defendant would stand nearby, watching him.

“The conversations were about general things like sport and clothes but the defendant did bring up homosexuality on more than one occasion.

“During the course of him talking to the boy, the minister at the church, who knew the defendant’s background, voiced concerns to his mother.”

The court heard that Rodgers then stopped going to the church in August last year.

But in January he attended a community centre near the church for a funeral.

“The same boy also attended, and his mother saw him go to the toilet,” said Mr Hunter.

“She then saw Rodgers follow him in and became concerned. She asked the minister to check what was happening.

“He found the boy in the cubicle and Rodgers washing his hands – nothing untoward had happened but Rodgers was again arrested for breaching his order.”

The court heard the boy described Rodgers to police as “odd” and “clingy” and said he had felt the older man had been “seeking him out”, which made him uncomfortable.

Rodgers’ predatory behaviour was previously exposed on national television in a BBC Panorama documentary on conditions in a Bristol bail hostel.

He was living at the hostel in Brigstocke Road, St Paul’s, in 2006 after being released from prison on licence.

Rodgers was filmed watching the toilets of the Mall Galleries shopping centre and wandering past children wearing a digital camera around his neck.

He was later moved into a flat in Wellington, Somerset, but was recalled to prison a month later after being caught loitering in a swimming pool changing room.

The court heard he was then made subject to the SOPO but breached it in March 2007, when he was arrested after being found within 20 metres of a secondary school, and again in October 2008, when he was caught with images of children and children’s clothes in his flat.

For the first breach he was jailed for six months and on the second occasion 12 months.

Martin Lanchester, defending, said Rodgers accepted he had a “profound problem” and was trying to address it.

“He has undergone treatment and completed courses successfully,” he said.

Mr Lanchester said Rodgers was a religious man who genuinely wanted to attend church.

“There was no element of grooming and no offence was actually committed against the boy,” he said.

“Within Rodgers’ own mind there was a degree of attraction – this is not a person who is in denial about his problem.

“He had told the pastor about his past offences – he was not trying to hide them.”

Mr Lanchester said that nothing physical ever happened between Rodgers and the boy, and that going into the toilet was not an attempt by Rodgers to do anything untoward.

“He is genuinely sorry for the boy having to be involved in a police investigation,” he said.

The court heard Rodgers, who admitted the breach at an earlier hearing, was getting help from a charity to try and fit back into the community.

Judge David Ticehurst told Rodgers: “The order was imposed to protect vulnerable children from your predatory activities.

“You have shown willful and persistent disregard for it.”

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