October 2018

Court makes finding on former Aberdyfi artist

A former Mid Wales artist who is now aged 80 indecently assaulted a young boy some 40 years ago, a jury has decided.

But defendant Charles John Seeley is too ill to be punished for what he did as a younger man.

At Mold Crown Court, Seeley, was found to be not fit to plead because of severe dementia and did not take part in his trial.

A jury was asked to find whether he did the acts alleged.

In his absence they found that he had done the acts alleged in seven sexual allegations dating back to the mid-1970s.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said that they were not findings of guilt but findings of fact against Seeley, who now has a Norwich address.

He had lived in France for many years but returned to the UK last year.

There were now three options, a hospital order, a supervision order or a discharge.

He suffered from severe dementia but nothing could be done for him and a hospital order was not therefore appropriate.

“If the defendant needed treatment I could have made an order that he receive treatment,” he explained.

All parties agreed that supervision was not appropriate and in any event he ordinarily lived in France. The only option was an absolute discharge, he said, which he imposed.

Judge Rowlands told the jury that they may wonder what the point of it all was.

But it was a matter of closure for the victim over what he went through as a child.

It had taken many years for the matter to come out and now a line could be drawn under it, he explained.

The court was told that Seeley was currently living with friends in the Norwich area.

Judge Rowlands said that someone would need to try and explain to him precisely what had happened in court.

Earlier prosecuting barrister Sarah Badrawy told how the victim met the defendant when he lived in Aberdyfi.

Seeley showed him his cameras and gave him art lessons.

The defendant gave him £20 as well as other gifts and told him not to tell anyone what was going on.

The abuse included oral sex.

He gave the boy a birthday cake and an expensive camera when he was aged between 11 and 13.

When he was 14 the performed an illegal sex act on the boy.

The complainant, now a man in his 50s, found it hard to believe his parents didn’t suspect anything.

Seeley also took indecent photographs of the boy and hid them in a floor safe at his home.

The defendant later moved to live in France.

When the defendant as an adult confronted him he claimed “it was an affair that went wrong”.

The court heard how the victim required counselling after what had happened to him.

He told the court that Seeley drew portraits of him and he would give me him private art lessons.

The defendant would make arrangements to pick him up near a tree in his yellow Renault.