Convicted sex offender Matthew Woodgate jailed after targeting children at Stour Leisure Centre in Ashford

Published August 7, 2013 by JS2

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A sex offender – banned by a court order from targeting children – has been caught chatting with two eight-year-old boys.
Matthew Woodgate, 22, had been given the ban for downloading disgusting images of children.
But in June he approached the boys at the Stour Leisure Centre in Ashford– in defiance of the Sex Offences Prevention Order.
He began asking them intimate questions and offered one of them money – frightening him so much he told his mother that he feared he was about to be raped.
Woodgate, from Maidstone, later told probation officers he was curious to discover if the boys were “sexually aware”.
The sick pervert then confessed his urges were “like floodgates opening and then drowning me in my own thoughts” and could have led to contact with his victims.
But in jailing him for two years, Judge Adele Williams told him: “You have an entrenched, distorted and perverted view of sex with children and pose a high risk of harming them.”
Prosecutor Edmund Burge told Canterbury Crown Court: “He was at the swimming pool and on two separate occasions he approached young boys.
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Woodgate approached boys at the Stour Centre
“He engaged them in conversations which very swiftly turned into discussions about their genitals. “
The court heard that the youngsters were so alarmed they immediately reported the incidents to their parents, who alerted pool officials.
“Woodgate was stopped and admitted having such conversations with the boys, saying that it was a joke which had gone rather too far.”
Woodgate, of Tufton Street, Maidstone, admitted two breaches of the SOPO which was made at Maidstone Crown Court in 2008 after he admitted 22 charges of downloading indecent images of children.
The court heard that in January 2010, lawyers for the pervert successfully reduced the indefinite ban on approaching unaccompanied children to three and a half years.
Yet three and a half months later in April that year he admitted nine charges of breaching the order and one charge of possessing an indecent photograph.
He was sent to a young offender’s institute for 16 months and given another five year ban.
Mr Burge said:“For a 22-year-old man he has a relatively lengthy record, which includes a 2006 official warning by police after approaching a young female child.
“He has a marked tendency to try to engage young children, especially boys, in sexually explicit conversations, “ he added.
Nicholas Jones, defending, said: “These are serious breaches of the order which goes to the very heart of the kind of conduct it was designed to prevent.
“He is someone who sufferers in Aspergers Syndrome but he recognises he needs help from a psychologist to deal with his serious problem.”
DC Scott Relf from Kent Police’s Public Protection Unit said: “Matthew Woodgate is a calculating, predatory and repeat sex offender who targets children.
“The quick-thinking of a member of the public and swift police action has seen Woodgate convicted of breaching the terms of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
“Breaches of such orders are viewed as extremely serious by the courts and Woodgate’s two-year jail term reflects this.”
Kent Online
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