July 2018

Former Wyvern Theatre worker groomed and abused two girls in Swindon

A former production manager at the Wyvern Theatre must register as a sex offender after admitting grooming and abusing two underage girls.

David Wicks even molested one of the youngsters in the theatre.

The 56-year-old went on to have a full sexual relationship with the girl when she was still only 15, prosecutors say, though he insists she was 16.

Wicks had been due to stand trial after pleading not guilty to indecently assaulting three girls between July 1995 and January 2001.

But the case was brought back before a judge where he accepted he had carried out sex acts on two of them while they were still underage.

He said he thought they were 15 at the time, but accepted that their recollections of being 14 when it started were more accurate.

Wicks, now of Westergate, near Chichester, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault when he appeared at Swindon Crown Court.

Between July 1995 and July 1997 he kissed and performed two sex acts on a girl aged 14 or 15 at least four times. From January 1999 to January 2001 he carried out similar activities on another girl at the theatre on more than 10 occasions, and then at his home.

Pushpanjali Gohil, prosecuting, said the girls were each 14 when the offending started.

She told the court that, although he claims he only had sexual intercourse with the child when she turned 16, the victim maintains it was when she was 15.

However prosecutors included the claim that he had sex with her as a child as part of their case.

Miss Gohil said: “The prosecution will open that because it shows the context with, and the progress of, this particular relationship/abuse.

“They had self esteem and mental health issues. He has targeted them and groomed them.”

Miss Gohil said that the allegations he kissed and assaulted another underage girl will not be pursued. As a result of his pleas the CPS will ask for those charges, and others against the two victims, which he has denied, to lie on file.

Judge Robert Pawson adjourned the case to Friday August 17 for a pre-sentence report and released Wicks on bail.