A British child sex offender who has been on the wanted list after fleeing the UK five years ago has been arrested in Cambodia and now faces deportation. Former scoutmaster Paul Edward Prestidge, 35, from Plymouth, was taken away from his rented house in Phnom Penh to be interviewed by police over the weekend amid claims he had had sex with a minor in the city. Police have yet to decide whether to charge him or deport him to Britain, where he is wanted after failing to return to the UK from a holiday in Spain – breaking the conditions of a court that allowed him to travel, providing he returned from the trip.
But Prestidge, who in 2010 was given a three year suspended jail sentence at Exeter Crown Court for bribing boys aged nine and 10 with sweets to strip on Scout camping trips and keeping hundreds of child abuse images on his computer, did not return. He kept a low profile in Spain for some four years before travelling to Cambodia, where he is understood to have been living for about a year. According to Major General Uk Heisela, the chief investigator at the Ministry of the Interior’s Immigration Department, he and his officers had been ‘tipped off’ about Prestidge’s presence by the British Embassy. ‘The arrest came after the British Embassy in Phnom Penh asked Cambodian authorities to keep an eye on him,’ Major Uk told the Khmer Times.