Similarities show up between two cases

PUBLISHED: 11:30 13 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

AS paedophile Roy Whiting today began his life sentence for the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne, similarities with a case in Ipswich became clear.

AS paedophile Roy Whiting today began his life sentence for the murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne, similarities with a case in Ipswich became clear.

He had been released from an earlier prison sentence despite fears of professionals that he could attack again – just like rapist Kevin Chambers.

Police had been unable to keep tabs on him – just like in the case of Chambers.

And the jury hadn't been told of a similar earlier attack – just like in the case of Chambers.

The Whiting case has prompted calls for changes in the law as Sarah's parents Sara and Michael begged: "Don't let this happen again".

They want to see the introduction of "Sarah's Law" with communities told about any child sex offenders who live in the area.

The 42-year-old murderer, who had a previous child sex conviction, was told by the trial judge that he was "every parent's nightmare' and that he should never be released.

Probation service bosses said the tragedy could have been prevented by new legislation introduced a year after Whiting was released from jail after serving two years of a four-year sentence for kidnapping and indecently assaulting a nine-year-old girl in 1995.

He was supervised for four months after his release in 1997 but, under the new Crime and Disorder Act, could have been watched for up to 10 years.

Trial judge Mr Justice Richard Curtis told him he would recommend he was never released, saying: "You are every parent's and every grandparent's nightmare come true.'

He continued: "You are indeed an evil man. You are in no way mentally unwell. I have seen you for a month and in my view you are a glib and cunning liar.'

He said a psychiatrist had warned that Whiting was a "high risk repeat offender' after the sex attack in 1995, adding: "How right he was.'

Police who led the 18-month murder hunt said they had feared Whiting, formerly of Littlehampton, West Sussex, would kill again if he was ever released.

Sarah, of Hersham, Surrey, was snatched from a roadside near her grandparents' home near Kingston Gorse, West Sussex, on July 1, last year.

She had been playing in a field with her brothers and sister during a family day out and had decided to walk home alone.

Her naked body was found dumped in a shallow grave beside a road near Pulborough, West Sussex, on July 17, shattering her parents' hope that she would be found alive.

Chambers raped an Ipswich teenager in September 1999, just hours after being released from Wormwood Scrubs.

Prison and probation officers were convinced he was still a danger to the public, but because he had served two thirds of a six-year sentence, there was nothing they could do to hold him any longer.

His attack was captured on CCTV cameras, he was arrested and in April last year he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

It was only then that his past could be revealed. It is only now, after the end of the murder trial, that Whiting's evil past can be mentioned.

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