Paedophile caught after fleeing country

A PAEDOPHILE who evaded police capture for more than a year is today behind bars after he was arrested in Ireland.

A PAEDOPHILE who evaded police capture for more than a year is today behind bars after he was arrested in Ireland.

Clive Butcher, 42, appeared on the BBC's Crimewatch programme in September after Suffolk police launched a nationwide appeal for information about his whereabouts.

The dragnet began after Butcher was arrested in early 2005 on suspicion of possessing 1,689 indecent images of children on his computer.

He fled before his trial at Ipswich Crown Court in early 2006 and was convicted in his absence. He is due to be sentenced for the offences on May 10 at Ipswich Crown Court.

His capture comes as it is revealed that plans for a British Megan's Law have been scaled down and parents will not be given the right to information about paedophiles in their neighbourhoods except in very specific circumstances.

Last year the court was told Butcher, then giving his address as the Salvation Army in Fore Street, Ipswich, had 1,689 indecent images of children on his computer: 1,596 at level one, 47 at level two, 28 and level three and 18 at level four.

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Indecent pictures of children are rated according to seriousness, with level one being the lowest and five being the highest.

He was finally caught on Wednesday in Ireland and extradited to Holyhead port in Wales where he was arrested by a Felixstowe detective.

He appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Thursday on separate charges of making off without payment from the Pizza Express and The Brasserie restaurants in Ipswich in November 2005 and breaching a community order.

Butcher had also failed to comply with a previous unpaid work order imposed after he drove while disqualified and damaged a door at the home of a friend in Stratford St Mary.

Magistrates resentenced Butcher to 14 days in prison for the criminal damage offence and 21 days for driving whilst disqualified.

He was also sentenced to 21 days in prison for the offences of making off without payment - a total of 42 days.

Have you helped catch a wanted criminal? Tell us your story. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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