Mark Slenan has absconded while out from jail on license
Mark Sleman absconded while out of jail on licence

A convicted paedophile with links to the English Defence League has gone on the run after being released early from prison on licence.

Police are looking for Mark Sleman who vanished from his accommodation in Exeter. He had been released from prison where he was serving a seven-year sentence for robbing a homeless man in 2008.

It was the second time that the 42-year-old had breached the terms of his release on licence. On the first occasion, he visited a nightclub while out on licence from prison where he was serving time for the attempted rape in 1994 of a vicar's 10-year-old daughter.

A judge described Sleman as a "cold, callous psychopath". Sleman has spent 20 years behind bars.

Sleman is linked to the far-right EDL by a Facebook group he manages called the Church of the United Templars, who engage in costumed role play as medieval warriors. Past members have included Kevin Carroll, the former deputy leader of the anti-Islamic group.

Police fear that Sleman, who vanished in August, could offend again.

His disappearance led to the mother of the girl he tried to rape condemn the probation service as not for purpose.

The 52-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the Telegraph: "It beggars belief that Sleman has been allowed to go on the run again. Surely, after he breached the terms of this licence the first time he should never have been given another opportunity.

"My daughter has managed to rebuild her life over the past 20 years but then she hears about this and it brings it all back."

The mother said her daughter was terrified.

She said: "Prison is not the right place for Sleman. He is mentally ill and should be in Broadmoor, but instead he is at large because the probation service is incapable of keeping an eye on him."

Justice secretary Chris Grayling has tabled a proposal for child rapists to be released from jail only when they have served their full sentence.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: "Serious offenders on licence who live in approved premises are subject to strict licence conditions and are carefully supervised by specially trained staff.

"They must follow a structured regime, which includes an overnight curfew and can be recalled to prison if they breach them. Once recalled, it is a matter for the police to return them to custody."