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Detective Inspector Dave Marhsall from Scotland Yard
"He was very calculating and deceptive"
 real 28k

Friday, 21 January, 2000, 16:21 GMT
Campsite owner jailed for sex attacks

Le Grand Botives campsite Biden tried to attract families with young daughters

A British paedophile who ran a French campsite has become the first person jailed in the UK for sex crimes committed abroad.

Kenneth Biden, 63, from Exeter, Devon, was sentenced to three years after admitting six indecent assaults on girls aged between five and 12.

Judge Henry Blacksell, at Middlesex Crown Court, told Biden he was "calculating, self-justifying and deceptive".

Biden: "Calculating, self-justifying and deceptive"
The assaults happened between 1997 and 1999 at Le Grand Botives, a converted farm in Malguenac, Brittany, northern France.

Biden, a retired engineer, had bought the site in 1993 and managed it with his wife of 37 years.

The court heard that he set out to attract families with young daughters and gained parents' trust by acting as a babysitter and children's entertainer.

He screened people seeking to book holidays at the resort, dissuading teachers, social workers and police officers from staying there.

As he logged the families who were staying with him in a ledger, he used a marker pen to highlight the ages of any daughters.

Biden had a dream of turning the campsite into a nudist resort, the court heard.

Le Grand Botives The site is now up for sale
An advertisement was placed in a British naturist magazine and other publications in attempts to turn it into a family-oriented naturalist haven.

But when that dream faded, Biden, who walked around the camp semi-naked and claimed to have the ability to heal by touch, encouraged other guests to go naked.

Biden, described by police officers as outgoing and intelligent, took videos and photographs of children playing. He asked parents if he could use photos of some children for publicity shots.

Thomas Wilkins, prosecuting, said Biden "groomed" potential victims by secretly showing them films featuring nudity.

Biden at first denied any wrongdoing after he was arrested last September at Plymouth as he arrived on a ferry from Brittany.

He said he had simply tried to create a campsite for "fun, freedom and happiness, screaming and giggling".

Sex tourism

Biden's barrister, Martin Meeke, told the court his client was now a ruined man. He was being divorced by his wife of 38 years and the campsite was up for sale.

Biden becomes the first person to be jailed in the UK under the 1997 Sex Offenders Act.

Part of the Act was aimed at cracking down on "sex tourism", where British paedophiles travel to destinations such as Thailand and the Philippines.

It means that Britons committing sex offences abroad can still be tried in UK courts.

The sentence was hailed as a "landmark conviction" by the End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking campaign (Ecpat).

The group, which had lobbied for the law changes which led to the case, called for people going abroad to report suspicions when they came home.

Police investigations into the Biden case are continuing and officers have appealed to any other witnesses or victims to come forward.

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See also:
22 Jul 99 |  UK
Paedophiles 'move abroad' due to UK crackdown
29 Jul 99 |  UK
Legal clampdown on paedophiles

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