On-the-run sex offender jailed for 20 years after being found sleeping rough in Cardiff

Police had been hunting convicted sex offender Matthew Perry for a year

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A man who was wanted for historic child sex offences has been jailed for 20 years after being found sleeping rough in a Cardiff park.

Matthew Perry, of no fixed address, had been charged with 11 counts of child sexual offences – including rape – after an investigation was launched following reports to police in 2014.

Formerly living in the West Midlands town of Dudley, the 38-year-old man failed to appear at his trial in September 2016 and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

A nationwide search was launched by police after he was seen in the Hertfordshire town of Borehamwood.

Matthew Perry (Image: West Midlands Police)

A trial went ahead in his absence and Perry was found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

But his whereabouts was unknown.

Then a tip-off earlier this week led police to a Cardiff park and on Wednesday, December 20, he was jailed for 20 years – followed by an extended licence period of five years.

He will also remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Detective Sergeant Kay Redfern, from West Midlands Police’s public protection unit, said: “We are delighted that, with the assistance of the public and our colleagues in South Wales Police, we have removed a dangerous sex offender from our streets.

“We wish to thank everyone who contacted us with information that led to the capture of this man. I hope this brings comfort to his victims who showed tremendous courage in coming forward and reporting their horrific experiences.

“West Midlands Police has an excellent track record of bringing historical sex offenders to court and there is a raft of agencies we work with to assist survivors of sexual abuse on their journey to justice.”

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