May 2003

Pervert’s jail term changed

An evil paedophile who sexually assaulted a ten-year-old boy after luring him from a seaside amusement arcade could be free in six years.

Anthony Valentine, 46, a convicted rapist with a history of violent sex attacks, received a life sentence at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday.

But when the case went back before the court today it was ruled that he will be eligible for parole in 2009.

Valentine, who will be on the sex offenders register for life on his release, was told by Judge Anthony Scott-Gall: “The minimum you can remain in custody is six years.”

He was also disqualified for working with children for life.

Valentine lured the boy from the Monarch amusement arcade, in Waterloo Square, Bognor, on the evening of July 11 last year by promising to buy him a birthday present.

He took him by train to Barnham where, after buying him sweets and a football, he led the youngster into the countryside. They walked for hours across muddy fields and woodland until Valentine found a secluded copse by a stream, near Lidsey, where he subjected the young child to a horrific sexual assault.

The boy told police Valentine threatened to kill him and said he had a knife.

They returned to Barnham where a taxi driver, aware of the major search mounted to find the missing child, alerted police.

It was not until 3am that the child was safely in the hands of the police.

Judge Scott-Gall, on sentencing Valentine, branded the defendant “exceedingly dangerous” and said he would recommend he serves at least 14 years behind bars.

Valentine, who was living with a friend in Boltro Road, Haywards Heath, at the time of the attack, had been registered on the sex offenders register since his release from jail in May 1998 for rape.

He had informed Sussex police he had moved to the area from Hampshire as required by the regulations of the Sex Offenders Register a few months before he kidnapped the boy.

The court heard his previous convictions date back to 1977 when he appeared at the Old Bailey on charges of blackmail and was put on probation.

In October 1979 he was jailed for 11 years for an horrific attack on a girl in Surrey. He grabbed her on heathland and stabbed her in the face and chest. She lost the sight in one eye.

By May 1998 he was in Jerusalem where he was charged with assault after he attacked a woman and threatened to stab her and burn her with cigarettes. He received a six-month suspended sentence. She made an allegation of rape which did not come to court.

At Winchester Crown Court in 1993 he was convicted of rape and sentenced to nine years. He had met an 18-year-old student in Andover and gone with her for a drink at a restaurant before offering to walk her home.

He persuaded her to go into a sports ground where he threatened her with a knife he had stolen from the restaurant and raped her.

Valentine had denied charges of kidnap, two offences of indecent assault plus an offence of indecency with a child but was convicted by the jury.

He was given a five-year concurrent sentence for those offences.