Child rapist sent back to prison after deleting internet history

Child rapist sent back to prison after deleting internet history

By Adele Forrest | 04/06/2021

Child rapist sent back to prison after deleting internet history


A CHILD rapist has been sent back to prison after breaching his supervision requirements — ten months after being released early from his 16-year sentence.

Leon Ashley Ward (41) was released in January last year after serving half of his sentence for twice raping an eight-year-old girl in 2012.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to breaching a sexual harm prevention order, which banned him from deleting his internet history, and failing to notify police of his change of address.

Prosecutor, Ms Fatima Zafar, said Ward had been living at an apartment in Hayfield Walk, Rotherham, when police visited his address on October 13 to examine his devices.

“The defendant had a Huawei mobile phone with discrepancies in its internet history,” she said.

“One entry visibly appeared to be a search about deleting your internet history.”

Ward told police he had watched an adult porn video on his device the previous night and had deleted it from his history.

“The phone was examined and showed internet history had been deleted and that there were history wiping apps installed on his mobile telephone,” Ms Zafar told Sheffield Crown Court.

Ward, who has 17 convictions for 37 offences, went missing on October 15 after being recalled to prison.

“Instead of responding, the defendant disappeared from his home address,” said Ms Zafar.

“That relates to the breach of his notification requirements.”

He was later arrested and during his interview on November 1 told police he had panicked and “done one” because he knew he would be recalled.

He claimed he had deleted two days worth of history and some images of children that had not been sexual.

Ward, who represented himself at the hearing, told the court he didn’t have anything to add.

“I don’t think it would make any difference what I say anyway,” he said.

Recorder Anthony Hawks sentenced him to six months in prison for each offence, to run consecutive to his previous sentence.

Addressing Ward, Mr Hawks said: “You’re a serious sexual offender and therefore these supervisions are extremely important.

“But you pleaded guilty and you will now have to serve the remainder, or a significant part, of your sentence that was passed upon you in 2012.”

During his May 2012 sentencing at the same court, Ward was described as being “obsessed with deviant sex”.

Ward, formerly of Badsley Moor Lane, Clifton, was convicted of two rapes, sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

He lost an appeal in the same year against his 16-year sentence.

*South Yorkshire Police said it did not hold a custody image of Ward.

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