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Boy speaks out after attack by convicted sex offender Matthew Woodgate at Stour Leisure Centre

A brave eight-year-old boy has told of the moment a convicted sex offender approached him at a swimming pool.

Last week we reported how paedophile Matthew Woodgate, 22, of Tufton Street, Maidstone, was jailed for two years after flouting a ban on approaching youngsters - imposed in 2008 for downloading disgusting images of children.

Now one of his victims, who the pervert approached at the Stour Leisure Centre in Ashford in June, has told of his ordeal, in the hope other children will follow his example in reporting what happened.

The boy, whose identity we've obscured, with his mother
The boy, whose identity we've obscured, with his mother
The Stour Leisure Centre in Ashford
The Stour Leisure Centre in Ashford

The youngster had been attending a swimming lesson with his sister, and was in the pool’s changing room getting ready to meet his mum, who was waiting for him in the centre’s foyer.

Woodgate approached the schoolboy in the toilets, asking indecent questions before exposing himself.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I was getting into the shower and getting dressed and then I needed to go to the toilet.

“This man came in and he was asking me about my swimming lessons.

Matthew Woodgate
Matthew Woodgate

“It was really scary and when he asked me the [inappropriate] questions I was a bit surprised, and I didn’t really want to speak to him anymore.

“I went to go and wash my hands and he came with me. When we were drying our hands he pulled his trunks forward.

“I went and met my mum in the cafe and we got in the car, and then I told her.”

Woodgate is believed to have also approached another youngster and offered him money on the same day, and is thought to have been reported on other occasions to leisure centre staff.

But thanks to the lad’s courage in reporting what happened to the police, the pervert is now behind bars.

Following Woodgate’s conviction, the boy asked his mother to let him speak out, to let other children know how they should react if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

He added: “I didn’t really want it to happen to any other kids.

“I just don’t really want for any other kid to not know about him, because they might come across him when he’s got out of prison.

“I’m happy he’s been locked up so he can’t do it to any other kids.”

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