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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 18:57 GMT
Norway nabs 'pocket' sex suspect
Previous artist's impression of suspect
Police had previously released an artist's impression of a suspect
Police in Norway hunting a paedophile linked to scores of assaults on young boys have arrested a suspect, some 30 years after the crimes began.

An unnamed man aged 55 was arrested in Bergen and charged with 11 assaults but police suspect him of 150 attacks, and media suggest the real number is 400.

The suspect was nicknamed the "Pocket Man" by the press because he reportedly kept a hole in his trouser pockets.

Victims would be assaulted if they put their hand into his pocket.

Police were alerted to the suspect by an ex-policeman who linked details in the media to a case he had been working on in 1999, Reuters news agency reports.

The suspect's home was searched in January and police recovered DNA evidence which resulted in the arrest, the agency reports from Oslo.

The detainee is a divorcee with two grown children, police prosecutors said.

'Invisible man'

"Police believe that 'The Pocket Man' has over a long period of time sexually assaulted a large number of boys across all of southern Norway," police official Arne Joergen Olafsen said in a statement.

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"For a long time the molestation cases were treated as separate incidents," he said, adding that the suspect "had shown a remarkable ability to make himself invisible".

The Pocket Man, or Lommemannen in Norwegian, reportedly travelled the country, inducing boys aged between six and 12 to reach into a pocket on the pretence of helping him find an object.

According to Verdens Gang newspaper, he sometimes filled his pockets with sticky tape hoping his victims' hands would get stuck.

Police now believe the first assaults occurred in 1976 and 1977 as the suspect sought victims at swimming pools, public toilets and even at road junctions, the Associated Press news agency reports.

In 2000, police began publishing appeals for tips, police artist drawings of possible suspects and grainy photos taken from surveillance cameras.

A police website devoted to catching the Pocket Man was also set up.

Country profile: Norway
04 Dec 07 |  Country profiles

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