Sex offender hid boy and girl in wardrobe in his bedroom in Skewen, Neath

Police found two teenagers hiding in Jamie Robert's bedroom in December. Credit: South Wales Police/PA

A convicted sex offender was found hiding a boy and a girl in a wardrobe. 

The pair, who were from a children's homes, were found by police in the wardrobe in Jamie Roberts’ bedroom.

Just weeks after police made the shocking discovery, Roberts took two boys - again vulnerable teens living in care - back to his house where they drank alcohol and took drugs.

Roberts, who also goes by the name Jamie Whelan, is currently subject to a sexual harm prevention order after being convicted of child abduction.

Swansea Crown Court heard that early in the morning of December 21, 2021, police in Swansea were notified that two teenagers had failed to return home to their respective care homes by the allotted curfew times the previous night.

The case was heard at Swansea Crown Court. Credit: PA Images

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said the police investigation led to Roberts' flat in Skewen, where lights were on in the property at around 3:40am but officers' knocks went unanswered.

After being let in, officers found the missing children hiding inside a wardrobe. The teenagers were returned to their care homes and Roberts was arrested. 

In his subsequent interview, 35-year-old Roberts provided a prepared statement in which he said the children had asked him to hide them, and that they had taken cocaine and amphetamine.

The court heard the second incident happened on February 28 this year and involved the same teen boy along with another male youth who was also living in care. 

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Roberts, of New Road, Skewen, Neath, had previously pleaded guilty to breaching a sexual harm prevention order when he appeared in the dock for sentencing. 

He has 19 previous convictions for 22 offences including a number for sexual offences beginning with the indecent assault of a girl when he was a juvenile - this involved him assaulting a girl in public toilets on a beach. 

In 2005 he was convicted at Swansea Crown Court of breaching a sexual harm prevention order, and convicted of the same offence two years later at Stratford Crown Court. However, the court did not hear details of these breaches.

In 2021 he was sentenced to a two-year community order for child abduction - this offence involved a young boy staying in his property in defiance of a child abduction warning notice issued by police following concerns raised by the boy's dad about the nature of the defendant's relationship with his son.

The Judge hearing the case said he had no doubt Roberts' contact with the young children had been sexually-motivated behaviour. Credit: South Wales Police

Ian Ibrahim, for Roberts, said the defendant's childhood had been "nothing short of a disaster for him". 

He said Roberts was taken into care at the age of four and put on anti-psychotic drugs because of his behaviour, and that was followed by a period of living with 10 different foster families and in five foster homes, as well as being bullied at school. 

The barrister said the defendant had subsequently been diagnosed with a number of conditions including personality disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. 

Judge Paul Thomas QC said he had no doubt Roberts' contact with the young children from care homes had been sexually-motivated grooming behaviour. 

He said it was clear the defendant posed a risk of serious harm to children but said it was not possible to pass an extended sentence for the offences currently before the court.

Overall, Roberts was sentenced to four years in prison. He will serve up to half that period in custody before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.