September 2016

Suspended sentence for man who sexually assaulted girl, 8

AN Alcester man who sexually assaulted a girl he was babysitting more than 20 years ago has escaped an immediate jail sentence.

Marc Bayliss, aged 43, was said to have learning difficulties and an extremely low IQ and would be at risk in prison, a sentencing hearing at Worcester Crown Court was told.

Bayliss, of Kingley Avenue, Alcester, was found guilty by a jury of seven sex offences from September 1991 to September 1993 against a girl who was aged eight and nine at the time.

He was aged between 17 and 19 but was an immature teenager who preferred the company of children younger than himself, Richard Davenport, defending, told the hearing, which had been adjourned after the trial for a psychologist’s report.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Andrew Wallace, prosecuting, the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had not been able to tell anyone about the abuse at the time but she had never been able to put it behind her.

She had been anxious and depressed and had had difficulty with relationships, the court heard.

Mr Davenport said it was “every parent’s nightmare” to find their daughter had been abused.

Bayliss, he said, had not committed any similar offences of a sexual nature before or since those 15 months in the early 1990s.

“He was not much more than a child himself at the time,” Mr Davenport said.

He said Bayliss had an IQ below the national average and would be “at serious risk of self-harming or worse” if he was sent to jail.

Bayliss now plans to move to live with his girlfriend in Scotland, he said.

Recorder Martin Jackson said Bayliss continued to deny the offences but the jury had believed the woman’s account.

“Instead of looking after her as you were supposed to, you used the opportunity of being with her to indecently assault her,” he said to Bayliss.

“That’s something no child should ever have to face from a babysitter entrusted with their care.”

He said he had taken into account the difficulties Bayliss would face in custody and gave him a sentence of two years suspended for two years with supervision.

He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work.

A sexual harm prevention order was imposed to run indefinitely restricting his contact with girls under 16.

He will also have to register as a sex offender for ten years.