Jail for childminder who abused youngsters


- Credit: Archant

A NORTH Somerset childminder who raped a toddler and sexually assaulted others in his care has been jailed.

Bristol Crown Court heard how the man had been suppressing thoughts about young children for many years before he became a registered childminder.

His abuse of children he was trusted to look after only came to light later when he admitted to his ex-wife what he had done.

This followed a number of instances when he had told doctors and mental health workers he was worried about the thoughts he had about young children.

It transpires the man, whose name and place of work cannot be revealed to protect the identity of his victims, made the admissions about his thoughts after he had carried out the abuse.

On July 10, he appeared at Bristol Crown Court to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to one rape of a girl aged one, four counts of sexual assault on a girl aged under 13, four of taking indecent images of a child and nine of making indecent images of a child, relating to photos he downloaded from the internet to his phone.

Watched by parents of children placed in his care, he was handed a prison sentence of eight years and eight months, of which he will serve at least two thirds, as well as an extended licence period of five years. He was also banned from ever working with children or vulnerable adults and told to sign the sex offenders register.

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The court heard how in most of the incidents he would film himself touching the girls, mostly aged about two, while changing their nappies.

It was also told that had he not admitted his actions, they may never have come to light due to the ages of his victims.

When asked by police why he had abused the children, he said: “If I could tell you I would.

“I can’t understand why, for the life of me, I did it.”

Passing sentence, The Recorder of Bristol, Judge Neil Ford QC, said: “You appreciate the devastation you have caused to the lives of the parents who trusted you with their children.

“Those parents feel guilty for letting down their children when in reality they are not at fault at all.

“Your candour in a case of this sort can be described as remarkable. Having said that, your conduct is certainly described as predatory.”

Derrick Perry, defending, said: “He is only interested in being given what he deserves.

“He doesn’t seek a reduced sentence and wants to be punished for what he has done wrong.”

Following the hearing, Detective Inspector Mark Coleman, of the police public protection unit, said: “He was paid to ensure these children were safe and not harmed in any way. Instead he abused a number of them himself.

“We are pleased with the sentence and hope this will bring some comfort to the families of those affected.”