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Paedophile jailed for killing girlfriend,28

PUBLISHED: 15:17 28 April 2010

Clive Butcher

Clive Butcher

Archant

A PAEDOPHILE who became one of Britain's most wanted after fleeing child porn charges is beginning a jail sentence for stabbing a young mother to death.

Homeless Clive Butcher plunged a bread knife into girlfriend Rebecca Hoban’s back six times as they rowed over drugs.

Butcher is now serving six-and-a-half years in prison for the 28-year-old’s manslaughter.

The 44-year-old, formerly of the Salvation Army hostel in Fore Street, Ipswich, first achieved notoriety when he featured on BBC1’s Crimewatch programme in 2006.

He went on the run after 1,689 indecent images of children were discovered on his computer by officers from Suffolk Constabulary’s hi-tech crime unit.

A total of 1,596 photographs were at level one, 47 at level two, 28 at level three and 18 at level four, the second most serious grading of child pornography. The images were downloaded between January 1, 2002, and October 12, 2004.

Butcher fled before trial and was convicted in his absence. Although he was believed to have fled to Spain, he was tracked down to Ireland where he was working as an electrician.

In April, 2007, he was arrested by Gardai and sent back to Suffolk.

Butcher was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court to six months in jail for making indecent images of children and one count of possession of indecent photographs.

He was also given a further month behind bars for failing to attend his trial. After his release, Butcher returned to Ireland where he met Ms Hoban while both were drug addicts and sleeping rough.

Dublin’s Central Criminal Court heard Butcher had stabbed the mother-of-one after they had spent the afternoon of December 17, 2008, drinking and smoking heroin.

Just before 7pm, Butcher dialled 999 and asked for an ambulance to be sent to his bedsit, saying Ms Hoban was “dying rapidly on the floor”. He told the operator he was “evil” and had just stabbed a woman three or four times.

In his subsequent interviews with Gardai, Butcher described a violent struggle after a row broke out over money for drugs.

The court heard he also told Gardai: “I’m sorry it happened, I loved the girl.”

Butcher – who has 16 criminal convictions in the UK – was found guilty of manslaughter in February following a murder trial, but wasn’t sentenced until this week.

At his sentencing, Mr Justice George Birmingham said the killing was made all the more tragic by the fact that it happened when Butcher seemed to be getting his life back on track, taking part in the resettlement programme for homeless men.

colin@adwent.co.uk

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