May 2015

Police rescue boys from clutches of dangerous Leeds paedophile


A DANGEROUS sex offender was caught by police as he abused two young boys in his car after snatching them from the street.

Alan Chater, 65, was dragged from his car and handcuffed by officers who rescued the youngsters after becoming suspicious when they spotted the pensioner in his vehicle with the boys.

Chater had forced the youngsters into his car as they played in a street in Armley, Leeds, on February 4 this year

A court heard one of the victims, aged 11, feared who was going to be killed as Chater drove off with him and his nine-year-old friend.

Lorry driver Chater, who has a history of committing serious sex offences against boys and girls, laughed at the victims as they cried in fear.

They were driven to a car park at Gotts Park, Armley, where they were made to remove their trousers.

The attack ended when police drove onto the car park at around 8pm and approached Chater’s car.

The officers opened Chater’s car door as he was about to drive away and arrested him.

Leeds Crown Court heard a rucksack was in the Vauxhall Corsa which contained condoms, towels and other items to use during the attack.

Simon Batiste, prosecuting, said: “He had a kit designed for further sexual activity. The prosecution submits that this demonstrates the premeditated nature of the offences committed.”

Chater, of Cardinal Road, Beeston, pleaded guilty to two offences of kidnapping, two of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and breach of a sexual offences prevention order.

Chater has a history of sexual and violent offences dating back to the 1970s. He has served prison sentences for serious sex offences against youngsters, taking photographs of children and outraging public decency.

He was the subject of a community order at the time of his latest offences. That sentence was imposed after he breached his sexual offences prevention order by failing to tell his employer about his criminal past in order to get driving work.

Marcus Waite, mitigating, said Chater would be an old man upon his release from prison.

Chater was given an extended prison sentence totalling 12-and-a-half years after judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said he continued to pose a serious risk of committing offences against children in the future.

He must serve a prison term of seven-and-a-half years followed by a five-year period on licence.

The judge said: “These are children who were taken from the street and are unlikely to feel safe while walking the street for the remainder of their lives.”

Det Chief Insp Mark Griffin, of Leeds District Safeguarding, said: “Alan Chater is clearly a very dangerous man and we welcome his sentencing and conviction.

“He kidnapped his young victims from the street and subjected them to what must have been a truly frightening experience.

“They have shown great bravery subsequently and our thoughts remain with them.

“Chater was caught thanks to traditional skills of police officers who saw his car at a distance while patrolling and on suspecting something was wrong, went up to investigate, an excellent example of police work.

“The streets of Leeds are safer today with Chater today beginning a lengthy custodial sentence which may well see him behind bars for a long time.”

April 2011

Jailed Sunderland paedophile is refused freedom

A PAEDOPHILE convicted of sex offences against children in Sunderland has lost his legal bid for freedom.

Pervert Alan Chater, 61, who has spent much of the last decade behind bars for a series of vile attacks, has been denied release by a High Court judge.

In 1996, an eight-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were in the Castletown Dene area of the city, when they were indecently assaulted and threatened with a knife.

Further offences took place in 2000 by the River Tyne in Hebburn and Jarrow.

It was while he was on bail for another offence that he travelled to Carlisle and molested a young boy in the public toilet at Bitts Park.

In 2004, the former lorry driver, from Burnopfield, County Durham, was sentenced to four years in jail after he admitted three offences of indecent assault and one of gross indecency with children.

His conviction at Newcastle Crown Court was a major success for Northumbria Police’s Operation Phoenix, which re-investigated cold cases using new technology and advances in DNA.

At the time of the attacks, the victims’ clothes and the scenes of crime were forensically examined, but a DNA profile could not be obtained for any of the incidents.

However, advances in technology meant that the 1996 case could be revisited, samples reanalysed and as a DNA profile was obtained.

That was loaded to the National DNA Database and produced a match with Chater.

When released in 2007, he spent less than a month at large before he was hauled back to prison for an alleged breach of his licence conditions.

Chater challenged the parole decision in a judicial review application at the High Court, in London.

However, he has now had his case kicked out by senior judge Lord Justice Hooper.

Quoting the Parole Board decision, the judge said that, at the time of his recall, Chater’s risk to children had been “largely untreated” and remained “very high”.

The case was then reviewed again by the Parole Board in 2008 and twice last year, the judge said, with experts still refusing to order a release.

Lawyers for Chater argued at the High Court that the Parole Board had not approached its decision in the correct way.