Sex offender says Chambers is nice bloke

CONVICTED rapist Steven Beech, who has become Suffolk police's most notorious free-of-charge lodger, today told how he met Ipswich subway sex monster Kevin Chambers while the pair were both behind bars - and thought he was "a nice bloke".

CONVICTED rapist Steven Beech, who has become Suffolk police's most notorious free-of-charge lodger, today told how he met Ipswich subway sex monster Kevin Chambers while the pair were both behind bars - and thought he was "a nice bloke".

This chilling verdict on the double rapist who attacked twice within hours of being released from prison came as fellow serial sex offender Beech described his bizarre living arrangements at Ipswich Police station where he has been staying voluntarily since Tuesday. Though a free man, he must be monitored 24 hours a day because of the danger he poses to women.

Beech said that he met Chambers while they were both in jail. The evil 36-year-old who was convicted for a brutal subway rape in September 1999 was kept in a special segregated wing away from most other prisoners, said Beech.

"I met him in prison. He was a nice bloke," said heavily-tattooed Beech, instantly recognising the name.

But struggling to find the right words, he continued: "He was a bit sort of ... I didn't really hang around with him much. I was in the hospital wing and he was only there for three weeks. It was just casual really - I'd just chat to him now and again. But he was always busy on prison work. He was cut off from the hospital on the other side of the unit."

Chambers twice raped an Ipswich teenager in a subway in St Matthew's Street after probation officers in Essex bought the convicted pervert a rail ticket and sent him to a hotel without informing any authority in Suffolk.

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Following the disclosure of the extraordinary lengths to which Suffolk police have gone to prevent a repeat of this kind of tragic mistake, Beech, who boasts a tattoo of Christ's head on his chest, hosted a series of media interviews in a room next door to his new 16ft x 8ft home.

During a 10-minute interview with The Evening Star, the 37-year-old, who was wearing a t-shirt and jeans puffed vigrously on a cigarette.

Beech, who has a string of 115 convictions for mainly sexual offences, struck out at the injustice of his sentence for raping a 66-year-old … and revealed to The Star that he is having a "fling" with an Ipswich woman.

Jailed in 1992 for eight years for the infamous rape of the arthritic housekeeper of a Roman Catholic priest in London, Beech decided to return to Ipswich after first visiting the town 18 months ago. On his release from prison, he committed a further three sex offences. The last offence led to his deportation from Ireland for committing a lewd act in a telephone kiosk while talking to a female Good Samaritan on the phone.

He made legal history in October 2000 when he became the first person in Britain to become the subject of a sex offender's order, lasting five years and banning him from pestering women.

Midlands-born Beech was living in a house in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, until he was forced out by outraged local residents who discovered his record.

He chose to move to Suffolk last Tuesday after he was found not guilty of breaching the sex offender's order in Sheffield. South Yorkshire police drove him down to Ipswich in a police car because they were worried about the risk of him re-offending on the journey.

Beech was then given his own police cell, complete with a settee, a bed and blankets, his own shower and toilet.

He can receive the same free meals and cups of tea and coffee as prisoners - but he also gives officers food to warm up in the station microwave. He is only allowed out into the streets while escorted by two policemen.

The sex offender's order means he can only live with a woman if he has the written consent of a chief constable yet he told The Star how he has a girlfriend in the Ipswich area - a 29-year-old he would only describe as Diane.

"It's just a fling, it's just casual chitchat," he said.

When he last visited Ipswich he remained incognito to see a solicitor friend.

A police spokeswoman said that his living arrangements were different this time " because he wants to."

"I feel pretty safe here," added Beech. "The accommodation I have got is fairly comfortable in the circumstances.

"I visited Ipswich about 18-months-ago and I liked it so much that I decided to return. I would love to live here and have my own place - but now people know I am here; I am going to have to move somewhere else.

"It is a bit frustrating having the two policemen follow me around - but it is nice to know I am being looked after and I have got them in the background. I know they think I might re-offend - but I have got nothing against women and I am not going to do anything serious. The only thing that might happen is that I might have a drink and act like a bit of a clown. I am not a danger to anyone.

"I don't mind them following me because you have always got someone who might want to have a go at you.

"I have been out every day for up to three hours or so and I have been to about six or seven pubs

"I get the odd meal in the police station, but I have got my own money and I buy my own stuff. I have been giving them things to microwave for me.

"It is terrible having to move around from place to place. I feel like I am being haunted and hounded wherever I go. But if I was that dangerous, I would be in prison.

He described the money and man-hours spent on him as "a waste of resources" as he hit out at the injustice of his sentence for raping the pensioner.

"I got convicted for something I didn't do during a drunken and drug-crazed robbery," he said. "You've got 110,000 paedophiles walking around the streets and you should be monitoring them instead of them worrying about me.

"Forty-two shifts a week spent on me - it's draining up all the resources."

Now his whereabouts have been made known, he said he would move on.

He added: "I think I'm going to go because of the publicity. It doesn't matter where I go, they [the press] will probably find me."