Sex Offender Bailed For Wedding

A judge has been criticised for varying the bail conditions of a sex offender, allowing him to spend his wedding night in a hotel. Kelvin Wagstaff, 36, from Bridgend, admitted two sex offences involving children at Cardiff Crown Court.

Sentencing is due to take place later this month, but Judge Philip Richards allowed his bail conditions to be changed for his wedding this Friday.

AM and MP David Davies described the decision as “absolutely extraordinary”. Mr Davies said that after pleading guilty Wagstaff should “have been remanded into custody immediately whilst awaiting sentence and certainly not given bail conditions that could then be relaxed in order for him to go swanning off to a hotel somewhere.”

At an earlier hearing Wagstaff pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl under 13 and engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child under 16. Another charge of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child under 16 was ordered to lie on the file.

On Monday Wagstaff’s barrister Jennet Treharne made a successful application to Judge Richards to vary his bail conditions. Under the changes Wagstaff must still adhere to a curfew at the hotel between 1800 GMT to 0800 GMT. The conditions will transfer back to his home address following Friday’s wedding celebrations.

MP Mr Davies has Prescoed open jail, which houses sex offenders, in his Monmouth constituency. He said Wagstaff’s victims’ and their parents “must be appalled that a man who has pleaded guilty to a severe sexual offence is being allowed to go off and have a honeymoon in a hotel somewhere”.

“As a father of young children myself, I think it is absolutely disgusting. I suspect that part of the problem is that prisons are so full that judges are being told unofficially not to put people in them”.

Michele Elliot, director of the child protection charity, Kidscape, said: “I think the judge would have done the future bride a favour by insisting that the man adhered to his bail conditions. He obviously is a danger to children and I hope there are no children at the wedding. I have no sympathy for his wedding plans. Considering what he has done he does not deserve the courtesy of being allowed to get married.”