Leeds & West Yorkshire

Ex-Bradford safeguarding worker jailed for child sex offences

Heathcliffe Bowen Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Heathcliffe Bowen was jailed at Bradford Crown Court

A former administrator on Bradford Safeguarding Children Board has been jailed for five years for a series of sex offences involving young boys.

Heathcliffe Bowen, 50, paid an underage boy for sex and took part in sexually explicit online chats with youngsters.

The former chairman of Ilkley Parish Council was convicted of six offences which happened between 2013 and 2015.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said Bowen, of Ilkley, West Yorkshire, was a "predatory paedophile".

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Bradford Crown Court was told Bowen, of Woodlands Rise, was dismissed from his post on the council's safeguarding board in October 2014.

His barrister David McGonigal said a psychiatric report suggested that Bowen had been experiencing a severe anxiety and depressive disorder triggered by his disciplinary proceedings at work at the time when he was most involved in the online chats.

The judge said Bowen had given the appearance of being "a pillar of the community" and his good works in Ilkley could not be overstated.

But he said he had a "deep and entrenched interest" in underage boys and said he had "never shown any shame or remorse".

Bowen was convicted of six offences relating to attempts to engage children in sexual activity and attempting to meet one child after sexual grooming.

He was also found guilty of distributing and possessing indecent images of children.

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