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Sex offender released early

Jomar Akbar Caines (File photograph)

A child protection charity has condemned a decision to release a serial paedophile from prison four years early.

Kelly Hunt, executive director of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, said last night that it was “unfathomable” that Jomar Akbar Caines had been released before he had served his full 12 years behind bars.

Ms Hunt said: “This individual has proven that he is not only dangerous, but has the propensity to reoffend.”

She highlighted that Caines was “someone with multiple, violent offences against children”.

Ms Hunt said the courts should consider sentences of 20 years or more for these kinds of offences.

She added: “It is of note that the Commissioner of Prisons has the authority to forfeit the two-thirds remission for good conduct and ensure that the full term was served, particularly when no specific treatment or ongoing assessment was received while incarcerated.”

She was speaking after Caines, 43, was released from Westgate prison after eight years yesterday for an attack on a ten-year-old schoolboy in a restaurant toilet.

Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Minister of Legal Affairs, issued a public warning of his release, as a sex offender “considered to present a risk of significant harm to the health or safety of the public, an affected group of people, or an individual”. Ms Hunt said: “We hope that prior to release, victims and their families were informed that this perpetrator was due to re-enter society.

“Our anticipation is that this announcement comes hand in hand with the news that a sex offender management team has successfully been implemented for the protection of our children.”

Ms Simmons said she reached the decision after consultation with Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley.

She added: “The minister has determined that the Ministry of Education should be provided with information regarding this offender, to ensure that relevant schools are notified about his impending release.”

Caines was jailed after a March 2011 attack in the Pasta Basta restaurant in Hamilton.

The court heard he went into the restaurant and asked the child where the bathroom was.

The boy, who was holding his younger brother, walked Caines to the foyer of the restaurant, which led to the bathroom.

Caines told the victim to put his brother down, grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him into the men’s bathroom.

The terrified boy screamed for help and banged on the bathroom door as Caines began to touch him in the chest area.

Two members of the public heard the shouts and banged on the bathroom door.

Caines rushed out of the bathroom with a claw hammer and begun to swing it and throw punches at the customers who had stepped in to save the boy.

The court heard he punched one man several times as he tried to shield a toddler.

Caines was chased by several customers as far as Hamilton Police Station, where police arrested him.

He was charged and convicted of a sex assault on a minor, deprivation of liberty, assault and common assault.

Prosecutors said at Caines’s trial that he had been in counselling and had shown a “noticeable change in behaviour” in the months after his arrest.

He received an additional year for each offence as the offences were committed in an increased penalty zone.

Caines was also ordered to serve at least half of his sentence before he was eligible for parole and to take part in sexual, psychological and drug rehabilitative programmes while in jail.

Caines apologised to the victim and society for his actions before he was sentenced.

He told the court: “At the time I wasn’t taking my medication. I feel that any help that is necessary, I’m looking forward to it.”

Caines was convicted and jailed in 2010 for an attempt to provoke a young man to perform an indecent act.

He was released from prison just five months before the restaurant sex assault.

Caines was sentenced to a year in prison in 2002 for burglary with intent to commit sexual assault on a young man.

And he was jailed for four years for sex assault, unlawful carnal knowledge and deprivation of liberty in 1997 for an attack on a 13-year-old boy.

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