KINGSTON, Ont. - A high-risk sex offender is back behind bars after he allegedly threatened to kill a group of children after being freed from Kingston Penitentiary.

James Bateman was released on Thursday morning, then arrested Friday night after he allegedly violated sections of his probation order that forbade him from going near children or places where they are found, such as schoolyards and playgrounds.

Police allege the 50-year-old walked onto a school playground where a group of children under the age of 16 was playing basketball.

Police say he watched them shoot hoops, then allegedly threatened the children once, walked away, returned and threatened them again.

Clayton Lee was playing basketball when a man fitting Bateman's description was in the schoolyard.

"I'll chop your heads off," the 12-year-old recalled the man as saying.

Police arrested Bateman hours later and charged him with two counts of threatening death and one count of breaching his probation.

"We know he has a pretty horrendous history," said Const. Gerry Doherty, who screens and monitors high-risk offenders released into the community.

"I feel better that he is off the street."

Bateman has a criminal record that spans more than 30 years. It includes violent sex attacks on children accompanied by torture and humiliation.

In 1991, Bateman received an eight-year sentence for repeated violent assaults on a Belleville, Ont.  girl that included an attempt to rape the nine-year-old with a screwdriver.

He befriended a city woman after his release. He then molested, attacked and humiliated her 10-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter.

He hung the boy by his ankles over a stairwell in once instance and rammed his face into a plate of hot pasta in another. Bateman was convicted in 2002 of sexual assault and sexual indifference and sentenced to three years in prison.