April 2011

Former ‘dogs of war’ paedophile twins found hiding in sleepy French village.

Two paedophile twins who were on the run after a string of sex attacks on youngsters have been tracked down to a tiny French village, it emerged today.

Thomas and Ken Parker, both 56, were ‘dogs of war’ mercenaries in the world’s most dangerous war zones before being convicted of sex offences and going into hiding.

Last month they became the first set of twins to be put on the list of the UK’s most wanted criminals by investigators.

But they have been found hiding in the sleepy village of Quillan in the south of France after police swooped on them last night, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said.

Thomas was arrested by French police while his brother Ken fled from a white work van he is said to have been sleeping inside.

The heavily-tattooed brutes are believed to have posed as builders when they arrived in the picturesque village, with a population of just 3,500, two years ago.

Thomas moved in with a local barmaid called Ocria, a mum-of-nine who, while Ken stayed in the van they used for work.

But both brothers were described as highly dangerous and wanted for breaching the conditions of the sex offenders register.

Thomas was arrested last night and held behind bars after members of the public came forward to reveal their location.

But after getting word of the raids on his brother’s home, the other twin, Ken, fled to the nearby mountains.

Police were today searching the foothills of the nearby Pyranees in a desperate bid to catch the convicted paedophile before he has the chance to strike again.

Expat Sharon McKenna, a mum of four, told the Sun that one of the twins had once told her ‘Age doesn’t matter when you are in love’.

‘He’d get girl’s to his house for sex and swap them with his brother,’ she said. ‘I warned kids to be wary.’

The barmaid, Ocria, who is reported to have been living with the twin who was arrested, said that her youngest child was just ten years old.

‘I never suspected anything,’ she said.

Ken, who is 5ft 8in, was convicted in 2005 of gross indecency with a boy under 16, an indecent assault of a girl under 16 and another indecent assault of a teenage boy.

Thomas, who is 6ft, has convictions dating back to 1998 for an indecent assault of a girl under the age of 14 and has similar convictions in France.

The twins are also said to have a string of convictions for non-sexual offences. Thomas, who was last seen in Liverpool, is wanted for a recall to prison.

Both brothers are wanted for travelling abroad without telling the authorities of a change of address, an offence under the terms of the sex offenders’ register which carries a five-year jail sentence.

Thomas could now face deportation and jail in the UK as could his brother if he is arrested.

A CEOP spokesman said: ‘Thomas Parker is in custody in France and the whereabouts of the other brother is still unknown.

‘We are still asking people for any information that might lead to Ken Parker’s arrest.’

Earlier this week it emerged that the twins, both from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, were  soldiers for hire, known as ‘dogs of war’, who fought in the former Yugoslavia and South Africa.

Their local paper, the Coventry Telegraph, reported back in 1993 how Ken Parker planned to return to Croatia, after being arrested, quizzed by police and thrown out of the country days earlier.

Ken, who was living in Stockingford at the time, told the Telegraph that he and 23 other mercenaries had just completed a mission and were travelling from Bosnia to Zagreb when they were stopped by gunpoint by a terrorist squad.

Their weapons were seized and they were quizzed by the secret police for two days.

They also had to face trial for being in the country illegally before being barred from the country for six months.

It had been the fifth visit by the group – called the Soldiers of Fortune – to take up arms in the name of the Croatian nationals battling against Serb forces, since the conflict started.

But he denied he was a mercenary, insisting: ‘I am a freedom fighter.’

His brother Thomas, formerly from Leamington Spa, also fought for the Croatian army on a number of occasions with a organisation called the Rapid Response Group.