Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Child sex abuser Roger Gardener dies of cancer

Roger Gardener
Roger Gardener was extradited from Ireland for trial in Newport in 2008

A convicted child rapist has died of cancer, according to a prison service spokesperson.

Roger Gardener, who was 66, was jailed for 12 years in February 2008 after being found guilty of indecently assaulting two young girls in 2000.

He was also found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting a girl under 14.

He died at Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, a week ago. A spokesperson for Parc Prison said he died of natural causes.

Gardener had been on the run in Ireland for six years before his trial at Newport Crown Court, where he was also convicted of arson.

He had arranged to have his home, at Fleur-de-Lys near Blackwood in Caerphilly county, burned down.

The court heard how Gardener befriended a girl at a cafe in Fleur-de-Lys in the 1980s.

He raped her as he set up a disco at the village hall and also got her to take part in a "threesome" with another young girl.

Sex attacks and arson

In September 2000, he faced being sentenced for three counts of indecent assault on another two young people.

Instead, he arranged to have his home burned down and fled to Ireland where he was arrested in County Clare in October 2006. He fought extradition proceedings for 10 months.

At his trial last year, he was sentenced him to eight years for the sex attacks and four years for arson, to be served consecutively.

His wife, Margaret, stood by him and formed an organisation to support those who claim they are the victim of false allegations.

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