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Alec Rivers, Folkestone, sentenced to 4 years in jail for breaching Sexual Harm Prevention Order

A judge gave a “manipulative paedophile” a piece of his mind for trying to lure children away with promises of high profile football games.

Judge Mark Weekes dealt Rivers a barbed sentencing speech as the paedophile bowed his head, and sobbed while his body shook in the dock.

Rivers, 49, was found guilty of six breaches of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order, banning him from trying to be alone with under-18s.

Alec Rivers (10900454)
Alec Rivers (10900454)

Sentencing Rivers to four years in jail, the judge labelled him a “predatory paedophile” whose behaviour was “sinister”.

He said: “You used your interest, alleged or real in football, to repeatedly breach the order made.

“You remain a high risk - I don’t doubt that you are not a manipulative man,” Judge Weekes added.

He scalded Rivers for attempting to coax the children away, adding “it is in the parents' credit they stood firm.”

Sentencing Rivers to four years in jail, the judge labelled him a “predatory paedophile” whose behaviour was “sinister”.

"You used your interest, alleged or real in football, to repeatedly breach the order made..." Judge Weekes

Rivers, 49, was jailed for sexually assaulting a minor in 2010 and slapped with a sexual offences prevention order, to help deter re-offending.

The order banned the social media specialist from being alone, or seeking to be alone, with people under-18.

But Rivers would later flout the ruling - by trying to befriend a family then attempting to lure the children – and be re-arrested in 2018.

Rivers was found guilty of six breaches of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday, and cleared of two other alleged offences.

Alec Rivers outisde court(10212476)
Alec Rivers outisde court(10212476)

The court heard today the family remain disturbed over his advances, which included trying to coax a child from his parents with promises of watching Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

The mother revealed she feels “suspicious of everyone” following the ordeal, according to her victim impact statement.

“This trial has been very traumatic for all of us,” explained Mr Hunsley.

“Now when I see a car similar to his I feel my stomach turn.I’m worried what will happen when Alec is released back into the community.

“I feel sorry for others in the area who are not aware of his convictions.”

"I’m worried what will happen when Alec is released back into the community..." victim statement

Details of his improper behaviour surfaced last year during a routine police inspection, where Rivers admitted playing football with a child.

The confession prompted officers to trace the child’s family, who described Rivers’ intensifying behaviour.

Giving court evidence, the mother told how Rivers occasionally struck up banal conversation with her outside the family home in 2015.

Gradually, Rivers, of Firs Lane in Folkestone, approached more frequently, kneeling down and turning to the children, inviting exchanges about football.

By 2017, his loitering became so claustrophobic the mother “dreaded going home”, instead staggering the time she’d arrive from school with her little ones.

"When I returned home collecting the children from school he would come and talk to us on the drive way,” she told the jury.

Canterbury Crown Court (10438238)
Canterbury Crown Court (10438238)

"It was getting to me. It was getting to the point where I was dreading to go home.

"Mr Rivers was interested in football and the conversation would go on from there. He started using the children's football but would later arrive with his own one," she said.

"How often would he ask to play football with your children?" asked prosecutor Mark Hunsley.

"Almost daily," she replied. She continued: "He asked my son to come to a football match which I said no to - Mr Rivers became quite aggressive.

"He said I shouldn't wrap my children up in cotton wool and should let them go away from us.

"It was getting to me. It was getting to the point where I was dreading to go home.”

Rivers has “learned his lesson” and was remorseful, according to a statement read by Mr Fitzgerald.

In mitigation he said: “I’m sorry I put the parents through this, I should not have had interaction with them.

“I’m generally sorry for the family.”

He was found guilty of persistently inviting a child to play football, inviting them to a London football match, inviting a child to look at his shed, and inviting a child inside his flat.

He was acquitted for allegedly inviting a child to the park and offering to babysit the children.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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