Ipswich: Convicted paedophile, 79, jailed after fleeing to Caribbean to work with children for eight years
12:03 26 February 2014
A 79-year-old convicted paedophile who illegally fled to the Caribbean to work with children as Jehovah’s Witness has been jailed for two years.
William Rogers, formerly of Norwich Road, Ipswich, was caught when he returned to the UK from the Dominican Republic where he had been living for eight years.
Rogers came to Ipswich in 2003 after serving a seven-year sentence for abusing two girls under the age of 11 while he was a church elder.
He was released from prison on October 30, 2000, and was compelled to follow the notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Prevention Act.
After moving to Suffolk he was managed by officers in Ipswich’s public protection unit.
However, on May 12, 2006, officers discovered Rogers had left the Norwich Road premises where he had been staying.
It transpired he had given notice to quit in December 2005 and told at least one person he was moving abroad.
Subsequent enquiries revealed Rogers had made a withdrawal from his bank account in the Dominican Republic on May 8, 2006.
As part of his notification requirements he should have notified police that he intended to travel abroad for three days or longer. However, he failed to do so and was posted as ‘wanted’ by the authorities.
After living in the Caribbean for nearly eight years Rogers returned to the UK on January 15.
He arrived at Gatwick Airport after flying back from the Dominican Republic, via a connecting flight from Madrid.
Officials had been informed of Rogers’ impending return and he was arrested on arrival before being interviewed by Sussex police officers.
He told them he had been living in the Caribbean for the past eight years and had a residency permit to live there.
Rogers also said he is a Jehovah’s Witness and was doing missionary work in the Dominican Republic. He confirmed his work involved making house-to-house calls and also teaching children.
Rogers admitted failing to comply with the notification requirements within the terms of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 when he appeared before Ipswich magistrates.
His case was committed to Ipswich Crown Court where he was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
An order to prevent Rogers travelling abroad for five years was made at a further hearing before Ipswich magistrates.
Rogers was originally sentenced to seven years in jail at Harrow Crown Court on May 14, 1997, after being convicted of six sexual assaults on two young girls.