Leeds paedophile given life sentence for raping girl after convincing authorities that he was no longer a danger to children

A 'manipulative and highly dangerous' paedophile has been given a life sentence after being convicted of raping a young girl.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 5:14 pm

Kevin Thistlewood was able to prey upon his victim after convincing probation and police officers that he was no longer a danger to children despite having previous convictions for child sex offences.

Thistlewood, 38, of Throstle Terrace, Middleton, was told he must serve a minimum of 16 years in custody after being found guilty of rape of a child and 12 other serious sex offences.

It is the third time he has appeared before a court for child sex offences.

Kevin Thistlewood was given an life sentence at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty of rape and 12 other serious sex offences against a girl.

Leeds Crown Court heard Thistlewood was aged 16 when he was convicted of indecently assaulting a boy.

Two years later he dragged another boy from a canal towpath and attempted to rape him.

He was sent to custody for that offence and given an extended licence period in a bid to ensure he did not offend in the future.

Thistlewood managed to commit his latest offences despite being regularly assessed by professionals.

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Sentencing Thistlewood, Judge Christopher Batty told the defendant: "All the offences are aggravated by the fact that throughout this period, you were being scrutinised by the authorities.

"Time after time you explained you were rehabilitated.

"You were good at it. So much so that eventually each of them was persuaded that you were telling them the truth."

Thistlewood was told he would only be released from custody when the parole board no longer considered him dangerous.

Judge Batty said: "You are in my view a manipulative and highly dangerous paedophile.

"These offences demonstrate an enduring sexual attraction to children of both sex.

"No amount of scrutiny was sufficient to detect these offences or deter your offending.

"In my view it is a risk that will carry on long into the future."

Detective Inspector Vicky Alexander, of Leeds District Safeguarding Unit, said: “We hope the significant sentence he has received will provide her with some level of reassurance as she continues to move on with her life.

“We also hope that the successful outcome of this case will help to give other victims of similar offences the confidence to come forward knowing they will be listened to and supported.”