A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

Cambodian court sentences British sex offender to 2 years in jail

Xinhua | 2012-12-20
By Agencies 

Cambodia's Siem Reap Provincial Court on Thursday convicted a 71-year-old British man of child sex abuse and sentenced him to 2 years in jail from which 1 year was suspended, according to the court's verdict.

The convict is identified as Reginald Blakeley. He was charged with Indecent Acts against 5 minors under the age of 15, according to the verdict.

In addition, he was ordered to pay a 500 US dollar fine and to pay 150 US dollar compensation to each of his 3 victims who pursued their complaints.

Reginald Blakeley contacted numerous boys and he allegedly molested them.

He received trust from the children by buying them presents and handing out money.

In April, 2010, he was arrested by U.K. police when he returned to the U.K. from Cambodia acting on evidence by a Cambodian child rights group Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) that he had allegedly abused several Cambodian boys aged between 9 and 14 years old. However, he was released and could return to Cambodia where he continued grooming children and eventually abusing them.

He was finally arrested on January 16, 2012 by the Siem Reap Provincial Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Unit because 5 boys, aged between 7-14 years, formally filed a complaint accusing him of sexual abuse.

Hong Sambath, APLE's lawyer who represented the boys, called the verdict very disappointing.

"Not only is the amount of compensation too low, once more a Cambodian court doesn't apply the law to its full extent and suspends a large part of the sentence," he said. "On top of that the court failed to issue a deportation order, which means that in one month from now, he can roam the streets freely again and pose a continuous threat to Cambodian children."

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