A 71-year-old paedophile who skipped bail while charged with sexual abuse against four teenage boys has been jailed for five years.
William Stevenson previously of Barngarth Farm, Detling, was flown back from Croatia on Friday, January 16, to appear before Maidstone Crown Court.
He faced a judge on Monday to be sentenced for 23 counts of gross indecency with children and to answer charges of breaching bail, after he failed to appear at court on June 23, 2004.
He had been sentenced in his absence on May 27, 2005, after it was heard that the offences took place on his farmland, where he befriended young boys letting them ride on his motorbikes and quad bikes.
The court heard at the time that he plied the boys with alcohol and cannabis and incited them to commit acts of indecency on him and each other.
Judge Lawson also handed Stevenson a 6-month sentence today to run concurrently for breaching his bail terms and required him to sign on the sex offenders register.
Det Sgt Richard Dicker of Kent Police’s public protection unit in Maidstone said: “William Stevenson is guilty of numerous sexual offences against young boys and their lives will always be affected by his appalling actions. I would like to thank the victims for their courage in helping to testify against this man, as they still had to endure the ordeal of a full trial, despite Mr Stevenson’s absence.
“The officers involved in this protracted inquiry hope that the boys and their families can find some comfort now that Stevenson has been jailed for his crimes and severe restrictions placed on him for the rest of his life.
“I would also like to thank the Croatian authorities, the Serious And Organised Crime Agency, Interpol and the Crown Prosecution Service for assisting us with the extradition process.
“I hope this sends out a clear message to those who have committed crimes of this nature that there is nowhere to hide. We will find you and ensure that you are brought to justice.”