Archive for February 7, 2012

Convicted child sex offender from Redditch given his “last chance” by judge (From Redditch Advertiser)

 A CONVICTED child sex offender from Redditch has been given a final chance by a judge after he breached a protection order aimed at restricting his contact with young children.

Judge Helen Hughes told 27 year old Stuart Ward it was definitely his “last chance” as she added, “I do this with some trepidation but I am giving you this final opportunity.”

Ward who admitted breaching the order was jailed in 2004 for indecenty assaulting a two and a half year old girl and he was told he must sign the Sex Offenders register for life.

He was later jailed for a further period in 2010 after he failed to notify the authorities he had moved in with a woman and her children.

Wolverhampton Crown Court was told Ward of Stoneleigh Close met another woman from Walsall through the internet last year and he was alone with her children on two occasions in August and September.

Miss Samantha Lamsdale defending stressed to the court that Ward had not committed any further sexual offences since his earlier sentence.

The judge was told that Ward had not revealed his past to the Walsall woman and she had no knowledge of his convictions.

She made Ward the subject of a three year Community Order with a condition he attends the Sex Offenders Programme.


It comes a week after a Redditch foster carer was jailed for 20 Months after it was deemed the original suspended sentence handed down was an “unduly lenient’ sentence” 

his case was brought back to court last week following advice from the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC.

Giving judgment, Lord Justice Pitchford, sitting with Mr Justice Underhill and Mr Justice Lindblom, at London’s Court of Appeal, said the suspended sentence originally imposed was “unduly lenient” and re-sentenced the pensioner to the prison term.

Lord Justice Pitchford said: “There is no indication that the offender is not fit to serve a sentence of imprisonment, nor that appropriate treatment would not be available if necessary.

“We are dealing with what we regard as a serious case of sexual misconduct by a foster carer against young children over a significant period of years.

The man, aged in his seventies can’t be named for legal reasons

Four People Arrested In Andrew Heath Murder Investigation, Worcester

Andrew Heath ( above)

Police investigating the death of Andrew Heath in Worcester have arrested four people this morning.

Mr Heath, aged 52, was found dead at his flat in Chedworth Close, Warndon, after a suspected arson attack at around 4am on Wednesday 14 December.

At around 8am this morning, two men, aged 19 and 24, and 17-year-old girl were arrested at addresses in Warndon while a 16-year-old girl was also arrested at an address in Malvern.

Two of them are currently in custody at Castle Street Police Station in Worcester while the other two have been taken to Kidderminster Police Station where they will also be questioned by detectives.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Williamson said: “I would like to reassure the public that our investigation into Andrew Heath’s death is still very much in full swing. A team of 40 officers and staff continues to work on the operation.”

Appeal For Witnesses Following Robbery And Assault In Redditch

Police are looking into whether two incidents are linked following a robbery and an assault that happened within a few minutes of each other on Saturday evening (February 4), in Redditch.

Both incidents happened just outside Woodfield Middle School in Studley Road.

A man in his 20s was assaulted as he and two male friends walked along Studley Road in the direction of Greenlands, at about 10.30pm. As they reached the school a group comprising of two females and four males started throwing snowballs at them and words were exchanged. Some of the group then attacked the victim causing him to hurt his wrist.

The group are all thought to be in their mid to late teens and were wearing dark coloured hooded tops.

A short while after a man in his 20s was robbed just outside the school as he walked along Studley Road with a friend. They were approached by a group of about four or five males who assaulted them both causing them to fall to the ground. One of them was assaulted again while on the floor and his phone was taken out of his hand before the group ran off in the direction of Shakespeare Avenue.

The group were all wearing dark-coloured hooded tops and are thought to be in their late teens. One of the males is described as being about 5ft 10ins tall, with an angular shaped face, clean shaven, and was wearing a black hooded jacket in a shiny material, jeans and dark blue and light coloured trainers.

Detective Constable David Jennings said: “We are eager to speak to anyone who saw either of these incidents or thinks they know who the offenders are.

“The descriptions of the offenders are very similar on each occasion and therefore we are looking into whether the two offences were carried out by the same people.”

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact DC Jennings at West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000, quoting incident 815-S-040212, or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

The internet is a fantastic place but just like any place it has risks. Do you as a parent talk to your child about the difference between real and virtual online friends, understand the power of personal information, use privacy settings to protect your information and understand the phenomenon of social networking such as Facebook?

As part of Safer Internet Day 2012 (Tuesday, 7 February), West Mercia Police and the four Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards across West Mercia (Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire) are encouraging families to talk to each other more about their online activities in a bid to connect the generations and help keep children safe online.

The theme for this year’s Safer Internet Day is ‘Discovering the digital world together safely’ which aims to explore the challenges of parenting in an online age.

Talking to children about their online lives is one of the best things parents can do to protect them so they can enjoy the opportunities offered by the internet. However, with the pace at which technology is changing, the internet can often become a daunting and confusing place for parents.

“It’s important parents, professionals and carers aren’t intimidated by how their children are using technology,” says Detective Superintendent Martin Lakeman, Head of Public Protection at West Mercia Police. He added, “As a parent myself, I know how challenging it can be: where do you go to find out about the internet, what questions do you ask and will you understand or even like the answer?

“For the first time, there is somewhere you and your children can find the answers to these questions. Last year we launched WES (Worcestershire E Safety) which is a one stop shop for all the best national resources around the internet and how to stay safe online. It covers important aspects such as social networking, gaming, mobile phone technology and cyber bullying. It’s a great resource to explore together with your children”.

One of the key features of WES ( is the internet survey which provides the Safeguarding Boards with vital information about what children are doing on online. To date, nearly 9,000 children have completed the survey and it is hoped that every child in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire will complete it.

Det Supt Lakeman added: “Please encourage your children to fill in the questionnaire on WES. The findings over the last 12 months indicate some positive things as well as some very concerning trends.

“96 per cent of children say they feel safe on the internet. However, 17 per cent of those say they had concerns about people they’d met online but worryingly a quarter of them didn’t tell anyone about it.

“Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed say they are on Facebook. You need to be 13 years old to have a Facebook account, but 62 per cent of 11 year olds and 35 percent of 8 year olds say they had a Facebook account. This is very concerning because children are claiming to be older than they are which means they are at a greater risk of coming into contact with sexualised language and behaviour.

“I would urge all families to take a look at WES, and get to know the SMART Rules which will help you enjoy the internet safely.”

The SMART rules are a simple guide to staying safe:

S is for SAFE – keep safe by not giving out personal information such as your email address, phone number, home address or school photos.

M is for MEETING – don’t’ agree to meet up with someone you have only been chatting to online and don’t know in the real world. Make sure you have a parent or carer’s permission and they can come along to any meeting.

A is for ACCEPTING – don’t accept emails, pictures, files or texts from people you don’t know or trust. This could lead to problems as they may contain viruses or nasty messages.

R is for RELIABLE – information you find on the internet may not be true, people can lie about who they are.

T is for TELL – tell a parent, carer or trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried or if you know or someone you know is being bullied online.

Finally, take some time out to discover the internet together, it should be something that families can share and enjoy. Parents can become “cooler” in the eyes of their children by becoming part of their world.