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Jail for sex offender who ran to Brighton and hid among homeless

A sex offender who was on the run for nearly two years has been jailed for three years and four months.

Ian Campbell, 40, of Fernhill, Mountain Ash, was found thanks to a Facebook appeal which led police to the seaside city of Brighton.

He was arrested at his hideout on 24th April, 2019 – an old double decker bus which had been converted into a homeless shelter.

Campbell was one of South Wales Police’s most wanted paedophiles, absconding after he was released by the courts on probation in June, 2017.

Through their investigative work, officers suspected he may be in the South East of England and a Facebook appeal was launched on 24th April, 2019. Within hours police had a call from a member of the public in Brighton who recognised him and he was arrested the same day.

Campbell had been living under the false name, John Morgan, and he was caught in possession of a number of devices including two mobile phones, a tablet and a laptop. It was a breach of his Sexual Harm Prevention Order which banned him from using any devices which gave him access to the internet.

Further examination of his devices uncovered a number of indecent images of children under the age of 18.

Detective Inspector Rob Williams, said: “He eluded us for a long time having moved away from the area and had been living under a false name. But we never give up investigating and we find them in the end –  I would like to thank the member of the public whose actions ensured that this compulsive sex offender has been returned to prison where he belongs.”

Ian Campbell was jailed at Merthyr Crown Court in July, after he pleaded guilty to  being unlawfully at large after being recalled to prison, failing to comply with notification requirements, possessing indecent images, and fraud offences.