January 2018

Paedophile jailed after sexually assaulting pensioners who were walking dogs

A man who downloaded indecent images of children carried out two sex attacks on elderly women walking their dogs, within days of completing a suspended sentence.

Mark Gillings, 31, of Vincent Wyles House, Attoxhall Road, Coventry, pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault and attempted assault.

After finding that Gillings posed an ongoing danger to women, a judge at Warwick Crown Courtmade him subject to an extended prison sentence.

He was jailed for four years and eight months, of which he will have to serve at least two-thirds before the Parole Board will consider his release, and will then be on licence for the rest of the term and for an additional five years.

Jailing Gillings, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “These were vulnerable victims, old enough to be your mother, walking alone in isolated places.”

Prosecutor Michael Aspinall said that on one morning in the summer, a pensioner was walking her dog in Wyken Croft Nature Park when she heard someone running behind her.

She stepped to one side to let the runner past – only for Gillings to run straight up to her and put his arms round her before rubbing her crotch over her clothing.

The elderly victim hit him with her dog lead in a bid to fight him off, and called to her dog, but fell, spraining her wrist as she landed, and Gillings made off.

Mr Aspinall pointed out that the woman says the physical effects have largely gone, but as a result of the psychological effects it has had on her, she does not think she will be able to walk her dog on a number of the routes she had previously used.

Later in the summer another pensioner was walking her dog along the bank of the River Sowe in Walsgrave when Gillings cycled up behind her.

Apparently being courteous, he got off and wheeled his bike past her on the narrow path before continuing on his way.

He went out of sight, but a little further on the woman came across him sitting on a bench.

Aspinall said: “He got up and approached her and barged into her, knocking her down onto the grass verge, and then leaned over her and reached up her skirt.

“She attempted to fight him off, and she also used her dog lead to try to strike him as she shouted out to try to attract the attention of anyone in the area. But no assistance came.”

Mr Aspinall said Gillings continued his sexual assault on her, before he eventually ran off.

His victim immediately called the police, even before getting back to her feet – and Gillings was linked to the offence after his DNA was found on her underwear.

The court heard the first attack had taken place just seven days after the expiry of an eight-month sentence suspended for 18 months, which had been imposed in December 2015.

On that occasion Gillings, then of Ribble Road, Stoke, Coventry, had admitted making indecent images of children and distributing one of them.

The police had executed a warrant at his home after it had come to their attention that he had been receiving indecent images.

Officers seized his computer and two mobile phones, and found 125 still images and one movie classed as being in category A – the worst kind of child sexual abuse images

There were 61 category B images, and a further 359 images in category C.

Gillings’ phones also contained 48 prohibited CGI images depicting children involved in sex acts with adults and ten images of extreme pornography showing adults with animals.

August 2017

Man sexually assaulted women in Coventry – days after suspended sentence for child indecent images

A MAN carried out sexual assaults on women in Coventry – within days of completing a suspended sentence for downloading indecent images of children.

And at Warwick Crown Court, Mark Gillings pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting one woman in June and an attempted sexual assault on another woman last month.

Both attacks took place in areas of Walsgrave said to be popular dog-walking routes, although it was not said in court whether his victims were actually walking dogs at the time.

Gillings (31) of Vincent Wyles House, Attoxhall Road, Wyken, Coventry, denied a further charge of sexually assaulting a woman in the area in September last year.

Accepting that not guilty plea, prosecutor Graham Russell explained that the victim of that incident had attended an identity procedure and had not picked out Gillings.

And his barrister Lynette McClement pointed out: “In interview he admitted the offences against the other two women, but not this offence.”

Suggesting a pre-sentence report was necessary, Miss McClement observed that the first of the offences Gillings had admitted was committed within days of him completing a suspended sentence for sexual offences of a different nature.

Deputy Judge Michael Stokes agreed, and adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, and remanded Gillings in custody.

In December 2015 Gillings, then of Ribble Road, Stoke, Coventry, had been sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months after he had admitted making indecent images of children and distributing one of them.

On that occasion the court had heard the police executed a warrant at his home after it had come to their attention that he had been receiving indecent images.

Officers seized his computer and two mobile phones, on which they found 125 still images and one movie classed as being in category A – showing children being subjected to penetrative sex acts.

There were 61 category B images, showing children involved in non-penetrative sexual activity, and a further 359 images in category C, of children in naked or indecent poses.

Gillings’ phones also contained 48 prohibited CGI images depicting children involved in sex acts with adults and ten images of extreme pornography showing adults of both sexes taking part in sex acts with animals.

When he was arrested for those matters, Gillings admitted he had viewed the images, but had deleted them afterwards.

Sentencing Gillings, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones had told him: “You have downloaded photographs, which provides a hideous market for individuals who abuse children.

“These are real children. No society can stand by and let its children be exploited in that despicable way.”

November 2016

Coventry man found with indecent images on his phone of young girls being raped avoids jail after court mistakes

A Coventry man who had images on his phone of young girls being raped has avoided jail after a judge had to sit as a magistrate because of mistakes made at the lower court.

Mark Gillings, aged 29, of Ribble Road, Stoke, was told by Judge Richard Griffith-Jones that no society could stand by and watch children being exploited in such a despicable way.

But following mistakes in the way the case had been dealt with at Coventry Magistrates Court, the Warwick Crown Court judge had to sit as a senior magistrate – with fewer sentencing powers – for new charges to be put.

Gillings then pleaded guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children by downloading them onto his computer and one of distributing an indecent image of a child.

He also pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing still indecent images of children on his mobile phones and one of possessing an indecent movie.

In addition, Gillings pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited computer-generated images (CGIs) of children and possessing extreme pornography showing adults in sex acts with animals.

Gillings was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months, with supervision, was ordered to do 60 hours of unpaid work and to register as a sex offender for ten years.

Sentencing Gillings, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “I hope you’re ashamed of yourself.

“This is not a crime of what goes on in your own head, where you’re entitled to your own privacy.

“You have downloaded photographs, which provides a hideous market for individuals who abuse children.

“These are real children.

“No society can stand by and let its children be exploited in that despicable way.

“It is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified; but you’re a man of effective good character, and you pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.”

Prosecutor Talbir Singh said the police searched Gillings’ home after it had come to the attention of the authorities that he had been receiving indecent images.

Officers seized his computer and two mobile phones, on which they found a total of 125 still images, and one movie classed as being in category A – showing children being subjected to penetrative sex acts.

There were 61 category B images, defined as showing children involved in non-penetrative sexual activity.

And a further 200 images on his computer and 159 on his phones were in category C, which covers children portrayed in naked or indecent poses without any actual sexual activity.

Of the most serious category A images, Mr Singh said they included the rape of young girls who were being forced to perform oral sex on adult men.

Gillings’ phones also contained 48 prohibited CGI images depicting children involved in sex acts with adults.

There were also ten images of extreme pornography showing adults of both sexes taking part in sex acts with animals.

When he was interviewed following his arrest, Gillings admitted he had viewed such material on his computer and phones, but had deleted them afterwards.