November 2011

Boy, 10, attacked by paedophile MINUTES after he was allowed out from mental health unit… and he’d done the same BEFORE 

A convicted sex offender attacked a ten-year-old boy just minutes after being allowed to walk out of his secure unit unsupervised.

Shaun Tudor, who has spent 23 years in psychiatric institutions, was granted unescorted leave even though he had a history of attacking boys – and once did so while on leave from another unit.

In his latest attack, Tudor dragged his terrified victim into some bushes within ten minutes of being let out.

The 43-year-old, who completed two spells totalling seven years at high-security mental institution Rampton, then sexually assaulted and attempted to rape the boy.

Yesterday, at Nottingham Crown Court, Tudor was jailed indefinitely over the attack, in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire.

The court heard that it had left the family of Tudor’s victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in ‘turmoil’, and forced them to leave the area.

After sentencing, the family’s solicitor, Martin Lee, said: ‘They feel terribly let down by the system that allowed Tudor to be placed at this unit in a residential area. And they have other questions. Why was Tudor, with his record, allowed out of the unit unaccompanied?’

Tudor struck on a ‘sunny afternoon’ last July, the court heard.

His victim was playing with a friend in woods 250 yards from his home.

After being released from the nearby St Andrew’s Healthcare Centre on a two-hour leave of absence, Tudor spotted the boys and told them he was ‘looking at nature’. He then pretended to fall over, and when his victim went to help him up, Tudor grabbed him and carried him into bushes, out of the sight of his friend.

There, Tudor attacked the boy, before threatening to ‘track him down and kill him’ if he reported what had happened.

The boy returned to his friend and initially didn’t say anything

Answers wanted: Tudor had been given unsupervised leave from the St Andrew’s Healthcare Centre (pictured) in Mansfield when the attack took place

But when he got home, he began sobbing and told his horrified mother, who called the police.

Tudor was picked up eight hours later, around five miles away. After his arrest, he told officers: ‘I’ve been doing so well for the last 24 years.’

Tudor had indecently assaulted young boys on two previous occasions – in 1984, when he was just 16, and then again four years later.  

Tudor was convicted of indecent assault over the second attack, on a seven-year-old boy, which happened while he was on weekend leave from a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham.

He was sent to Rampton, the high security mental institution which has treated ‘Angel of Death’ nurse Beverley Allitt, Soham murderer Ian Huntley and serial killer Mark Rowntree. He was there until 1995, returning for a spell in 1998.

The court heard Tudor had been moved to the medium-to-low security St Andrew’s Centre eight months before his latest attack. It was also told that in a pre-sentence report, Tudor said: ‘I will definitely reoffend against children if I am released into the community.’

Steven Taylor, defending, said that Tudor ‘plainly was not safe to be out on unescorted leave’, and that ‘someone at St Andrew’s had taken a chance’.

But Judge John Burgess said he believed there was an ‘element of deviousness’ about how Tudor answered questions which allowed him to be granted leave, and that he ‘appeared to have learned what to say to impress’.

Judge Burgess said he was imposing a jail term, instead of the hospital orders Tudor had been subject to in the past, because ‘everything had been tried and not worked’.

He handed Tudor, who admitted attempted rape and sexual assault, an indeterminate sentence for public protection with a recommendation he serve at least four years and ten months before being considered for release.

In reality, the judge said, it was unlikely he would ever be freed.

A spokesman for St Andrew’s Healthcare, a not-for-profit mental health charity, said: ‘St Andrew’s wants to reassure the community of its commitment to good practice and that an incident of this type is exceptionally rare.’

He said the decision to allow Tudor unescorted leave was ‘clinically appropriate, based on the information available at the time’.

Detective Inspector Caroline Racher, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: ‘We…have been working with the management at St Andrew’s to ensure there can be no repetition of such a terrible incident.’