November 2017

These sick paedophiles met in jail and befriended kids together when they were set free

A pair of convicted paedophiles who lived together after being released from prison tried to befriend children.

Charles Stewart, 71, asked the parents of two boys whether he could “sleep in the same bed as them”, and “take them on holiday to his caravan”.

A birthday party for 20 children was also held at the home of Stewart and Martin Copeland, 62, in east Hull, despite both having court orders banning them from having contact with children.

The pair met in 2001 when they were both in prison for separate child sex offences, including child abduction and indecent assault on a child.

Richard Thompson, prosecuting, told Hull Crown Court: “One [person] who did not know about the court order said Stewart had invited their son on a trip away in a caravan.

“A similar invitation had been extended to the person’s nephew.”

The court was told another boy had been invited away in the caravan by Stewart, and he had spent “a lot of time” with the convicted paedophile.

Stewart also bought the boy clothes and gifts and had “befriended” him.

“The parent said he regularly asked if the boy could stay over at his house in his bed,” Mr Thompson said.

“They also remember leaving the boy alone with him when they went shopping for a few hours,” he said.

Stewart also made numerous offers to babysit the boy, and was overheard to once say inappropriate and sexual things to a girl.

The court was told Copeland, who worked as a long-distance driver, would often come home to find Stewart in the company of children.

He admitted he should have said something to his housemate, as he knew both were living under the sexual offence prevention order.

The pair both admitted breaching the terms of the order.

Stewart was jailed for 19 months and Copeland was locked up for 15 months.