A MAN who has been volunteering as a duty manager at a theatre which caters for children is a convicted paedophile.

Hugh Simon Evers was convicted in 2010 for making and possessing 400 images and videos of children as young as three being sexually abused.

He avoided jail with a suspended sentence, but was banned from working with children.

Five years on, he sits on the committee of Underground Theatre in Eastbourne and works there as a volunteer.

A frightened parent has claimed to have seen Evers at events such as puppet shows and book signings for children’s authors and pantomimes – all of which had youngsters present.

When confronted about having a paedophile on his panel, the theatre’s chairman Stephen Rolls-King told an Argus reporter it was disgraceful the paper was even covering the story.

He categorically denied the convicted sex offender had been present at a science event on August 22, a Pantaloons present Macbeth for families on October 17, A Christmas Carol event attended by families and a Little Chelsea Christmas event where there were stalls for children to make reindeer on December 4.

But when an Argus reporter visited Evers' house yesterday he admitted he was at the Little Chelsea Christmas for 20 minutes "but there were loads of people there".

He also accepted he was at A Christmas Carol as duty manager, where there is a five-year-old cast as Tiny Tim, a parent told.

He also said a 13-year-old boy works in the tech room.

He said: "I am not banned from having contact with children.

"I am banned from taking paid work which would involve children.

"My police liaison officer is fully aware of my work at the theatre

"The theatre is a public place."

Evers, talking from his home in Meads Street, Eastbourne, added: "My conscience is totally clear.

"I have never been there for any children's shows.

"It is a deliberate policy that I never attend when children are there.

"My past is no secret."

The former headteacher, who lived in Meads Street in Eastbourne in 2010 when he was 62, filed copies of the sick pictures in a book in his garage as well as storing them on his computer.

Evers – known as Simon - had served on a panel which chooses local magistrates, volunteered at the Citizens Advice Bureau and was a voluntary member of the BBC’s Audience Council for the South East region.

A mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she had seen Evers at events with children present and added: “I just think it’s absolutely disgusting that he is working at a place of public use like this.

“I think the public have a right to know about this.”