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Paedophiles behind bars for chatting up boys

Savvy PC Steve Samuels spotted the men chatting up boys

Savvy PC Steve Samuels spotted the men chatting up boys

Archant

TWO paedophiles who struck up a friendship in prison are facing jail again after flouting court orders by chatting up two schoolboys.

John Hargreeves, 64, and Jonathan Wales, 35, were snared by a beat bobby who recognised the older man from prison 13 years earlier.

The men who are on remand in prison were due to be sentenced yesterday after Judge Martyn Zeidman previously warned them ‘custody is inevitable’, with the offence carrying a maximum of five years in jail.

On Friday the Old Bailey heard both men were supposed to be indefinitely restricted by Sexual Offences Prevention Orders banning them from contact with children following a string of paedophile offences.

But they breached the orders on February 27 this year while on their way to a football match between Leyton Orient and Swindon Town. The men followed the 15-year-olds into an east London KFC in February and quizzed them at a table. Hargreeves struck up a conversation with the boys and Wales sat with him.

But PC Steve Samuels, who happened to be patroling the pre-match crowds and used to work as a prison officer at HMP Pentonville recognised Hargreaves as an inmate. He and a colleague intervened and checks revealed their criminal pasts.

Wales, of Beckenham Road, Beckenham was jailed for 42 months in September 2008 for distributing photos of children being sexually abused and in sado-masochistic scenes while Hargreeves, of Parklands Road, Wood Green, was sentenced to 12 years in 1997 for several child sex offences including raping a boy.

Chief Inspector Richard Munns, head of operations in Waltham Forest, said: “PC Samuels hadn’t seen Hargreaves for over 13 years, making this piece of work an exceptional display of policing ability.

“The families of the boys involved were grateful that the officers intervened and that these dangerous individuals were brought to justice.”

Wales denied breaching the order but was convicted after a trial at the Old Bailey. Hargreeves admitted the offence. The duo become good friends in Pentonville and stayed in touch on the outside. The boys’ parents were in the public gallery for the adjourned hearing.

Bespectacled Hargreeves, who was casually dressed in a polo-shirt and using a hearing aid loop, and similarly dressed Wales, were due to be sentenced last Friday but it was adjourned until Wednesday.

Visit www.bromleytimes.co.uk for an update on this story.

kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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