April 2018

School caretaker jailed for sex attacks on child

A SCHOOL caretaker who sexually abused a seven-year-old girl in the late 1970s has been jailed for three years.

Stephen Oliver was still a teenager when he took the opportunity to get the youngster to touch him inappropriately as he babysat.

A jury was told he was aged about 16 when he went up to the little girl’s bedroom and told her he was going to ‘teach her something’, before carrying out the abuse.

The 56-year-old, of Clarendon Drive, Royal Wootton Bassett, pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency with a child.

But following a week-long trial at Swindon Crown Court the panel of seven women and five men convicted him of all the charges.

Pushpanjali Gohil, prosecuting, said the victim came forward in 2015 following publicity brought about by the Jimmy Savile case.

She told how she was living near Devizes when Oliver would babysit if her parents went out when she was little.

“He would come upstairs to her bedroom and tell her he was going to teach her a lesson.

“He would put his tongue in her mouth and French kiss her,” Miss Gohil said. She said he then undid her trousers and got her to touch him.

The girl, now a woman in her 40s, said after the second occasion she told him she didn’t want to do it again and he never did.

When the abuse was taking place she said Oliver told her not tell anyone and she kept quiet for a number of years until she had sex education lessons at school.

After confiding in an older neighbour she told her parents and they got a solicitor friend to write a letter to his family, warning him off.

When he was questioned Oliver, who has been a foster carer, denied any wrongdoing and even claimed he had never babysat for the girl.

In a victim personal statement the woman said the abuse had lived with her ever since. She said she was now a mother an over protective of her children.

Chris Oswald, defending, said of the conviction his client would lose his home leaving his wife and child needing to find somewhere else to live.

Jailing him Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “You took advantage of your role as a babysitter to gratify your own sexual desires.

“You robbed her of a significant part of her childhood and her parents assertion to you in their letter back in 1984, that your actions have not made any mark mentally, could not have been any further from the truth.”

As well as jailing him he also ordered he must register as a sex offender for life.