September 2016

Man, 52, guilty of sex abuse dating back decades

A MAN who has been convicted of sexually assaulting a child in the 1980s has been released on bail by a judge.

Paul Fitchett, 52, was himself still a teenager when he repeatedly molested the little lad, who was just six or seven.

Fitchett pleaded not guilty to two counts of gross indecency and one of indecent assault but was convicted after a trial at Swindon Crown Court on Friday.

Now he has been ordered to register as a sex offender, with the total time he must remain doing so determined by the sentence he received.

The jury of seven men and five women were told how he molested the youngster in Swindon and Highworth in the two years up to February 1984.

Giles Nelson, prosecuting, said the victim, who is now in his 40s, had lived a troubled life in the intervening 30 years.

“In February last years he wanted to get a matter off his chest that had happened in his childhood,” he said.

“He went to Gablecross Police Station on February 15 to report two incidents of sexual abuse when he was a child.”

The first matter took place when he was between six-and-a-half and seven years old and Fitchett, who knew the boy’s parents, was babysitting for him.

He said that he had been called upstairs where the defendant was carrying out a sex act on himself and got the lad to touch him afterwards.

About a year later they were both staying at a house in Highworth when Fitchett sneaked into his bed and touched the boy and also got him to touch him.

Mr Nelson said that the abuse had a ‘profound affect’ on the lad who had problems at school and went to abuse alcohol and drugs.

Fitchett said that none of the abuse which he was accused of took place, but a jury did not believe him and found him guilty.

Judge Peter Blair QC adjourned the case so the probation service can compile a pre-sentence report.

He released Fitchett, who now lives in Parsonage Road, Trowbridge, on bail until September 30 when he will be sentenced.