Devon

Paedophile Paul Prestidge jailed after fleeing to Spain and Cambodia

Paul Prestidge Image copyright Devon & Cornwall Police
Image caption Paul Prestidge was wanted after breaking the conditions of a sex offenders order

A convicted child sex offender who lied to police and then fled abroad has been jailed.

Paul Prestidge, 35, from Plymouth, left the UK and and went to work at schools in Spain and Cambodia where he took children on overnight trips.

The former scout leader was jailed in 2007 for photographing naked boys and possessing indecent pictures.

At Truro Crown Court Prestidge was jailed for 18 months for breaking the conditions of a sex offenders order.

Sentencing him, Judge Simon Carr said there was evidence Prestidge had started to "groom" young pupils in the same way as he had previously in the UK.

'Blighted by sex tourism'

In May 2010 Prestidge told police in Newquay he was going away for a family holiday in Spain and would return on 27 June.

But he did not return and police later discovered he was working at a school in Barcelona.

When colleagues became aware of his previous conviction he travelled to Cambodia and was employed by the Hope International School in Phnom Penh, the court heard.

Judge Carr said Prestidge had deliberately decided to move to a part of the world where his criminal history would not be checked.

He described Cambodia as "a country blighted by sex tourism".

The court heard there was no evidence of any sexual assault carried out by Prestidge in Spain or Cambodia.

Letters of reference from parents of the school in Cambodia were shown to the judge but he said they were naive.

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