A man approached children playing in a park and offered them money to go into woods with him, a court has heard. A judge described what happened as "every parent's worst nightmare".

Sending 37-year-old Aaron Madden to prison a judge said it my well be that there was a sexual motive for what the defendant had done. Swansea Crown Court heard Madden is currently serving an indeterminate sentence following knifepoint robbery in a park after he had met a man for sex.

The court heard that on the afternoon of November 21 last year two young friends were playing in a park in Port Talbot when the defendant approached them. Madden spoke to the children for some time and offered them money to go with him into a nearby wooded area. He put his arms on the youngsters' shoulders and did initially go with him before changing their minds and fleeing. They told adults they knew about what had happened, and the police were alerted. Madden was located in the area and arrested.

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Aaron Madden, of no fixed abode, had previously been convicted at trial of two counts of child abduction when the case returned to court for sentencing - the defendant himself refused to attend the hearing. The court heard that in November 2006 the defendant was made the subject of an indeterminate sentence known as Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) with a minimum term of two years for robbery and assault with intent to commit robbery. People given such sentences remain on licence for life after their release and can be recalled back to prison. The court heard Madden has been recalled to serve the full term and will only be released following a successful application to the Parole Board. Ieuan Rees, for Madden, called it a "baffling case" and said the defendant's behaviour both on the day and during his trial had been "strange".

Judge Geraint Walters said what had happened in the Port Talbot park was "every parent's worst nightmare". He said it may be that the defendant's motive was a sexual one given his previous offence of robbery which involved pulling a knife on a man in a park after "sexual activity" between them. Madden was sentenced to four years in prison consisting of four years for each of the two offences to run concurrent. The judge said the effect of the sentence would be that the defendant could not apply to the Parole Board for release until he had served the newly imposed term but, in his view, the "overwhelmingly probability" was that Madden would serve longer than that before being released.

Speaking after the sentencing South Wales Police detective sergeant Kristian Burt said: "Both children were understandably distressed at what happened but otherwise physically unharmed. Thankfully neither of the children were persuaded to go with Aaron Madden. However, I fully understand the concerns of parents and guardians in light of this incident, and I would like to reassure the public that child abductions are, thankfully, incredibly rare." South Wales Police said it did not have a custody photograph of the defendant. Join our WhatsApp news community here for the latest breaking news.

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