Jailed Sunderland paedophile is refused freedom

Paedophile Alan Chater
Paedophile Alan Chater
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A PAEDOPHILE convicted of sex offences against children in Sunderland has lost his legal bid for freedom.

Pervert Alan Chater, 61, who has spent much of the last decade behind bars for a series of vile attacks, has been denied release by a High Court judge.

In 1996, an eight-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were in the Castletown Dene area of the city, when they were indecently assaulted and threatened with a knife.

Further offences took place in 2000 by the River Tyne in Hebburn and Jarrow.

In 2004, the former lorry driver, from Burnopfield, County Durham, was sentenced to four years in jail after he admitted three offences of indecent assault and one of gross indecency with children.

His conviction at Newcastle Crown Court was a major success for Northumbria Police’s Operation Phoenix, which re-investigated cold cases using new technology and advances in DNA.

At the time of the attacks, the victims’ clothes and the scenes of crime were forensically examined, but a DNA profile could not be obtained for any of the incidents.

However, advances in technology meant that the 1996 case could be revisited, samples reanalysed and as a DNA profile was obtained.

That was loaded to the National DNA Database and produced a match with Chater.

When released in 2007, he spent less than a month at large before he was hauled back to prison for an alleged breach of his licence conditions.

Chater challenged the parole decision in a judicial review application at the High Court, in London.

However, he has now had his case kicked out by senior judge Lord Justice Hooper.

Quoting the Parole Board decision, the judge said that, at the time of his recall, Chater’s risk to children had been “largely untreated” and remained “very high”.

The case was then reviewed again by the Parole Board in 2008 and twice last year, the judge said, with experts still refusing to order a release.

Lawyers for Chater argued at the High Court that the Parole Board had not approached its decision in the correct way.