May 2005

Child molester jailed for four years

A PAEDOPHILE who escaped justice for several years has finally been put behind bars.

Andrew Bray-Wiltshire has been jailed for four years for sexually abusing a boy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In a civil action 11 years ago, Bray-Wiltshire was ordered to pay the boy’s sister £30,000 damages for abusing her.

But Maidstone Crown Court heard that no prosecution was brought at the time in respect of the boy. It was not until the 54-year-old child molester moved back to the Maidstone area after living and working in Dubai that he was charged.

Bray-Wiltshire, of Heath Road, Coxheath, near Maidstone, admitted four charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child shortly before he was due to stand trial.

Deborah Charles, prosecuting, said abuse of the victim, now 30, started in 1987 when he was 12 and continued until he was 16.

On the first occasion, he woke up to find Bray-Wiltshire, who worked for a plastics company in Tonbridge, had pulled down his underpants and was fondling him.

“He was scared and moved,” said Miss Charles. “The defendant moved his hand across, preventing him from moving away. Because the boy was upset, he didn’t complain at that stage. He didn’t know how to.”

The same year, the boy saw Bray-Wiltshire approaching and pretended to be asleep. But Bray-Wiltshire forced the boy to commit a sex act on him.

Miss Charles said the victim felt scared and guilty. Bray-Wiltshire repeated the incident on a regular basis. When the youth was aged 13 or 14, Bray-Wiltshire, a heavy drinker, used force to get him to perform another sex act.

When the boy was aged 16, Bray-Wiltshire put his arm around him but was rejected. There was then a “physical confrontation”.

The prosecutor said the victim was 18 when his sister made allegations against Bray-Wiltshire. A private prosecution was pursued and a court awarded the damages.

The boy was questioned by police, but he was in the middle of exams and could not cope with the matter going any further, said Miss Charles.

“The delay in the case has simply been because the defendant had been living in Dubai,” she said. “Until he returned to this country, there was no opportunity to arrest him or interview him about the allegations.”

When finally arrested in May last year, Bray-Wiltshire made “no comment” replies to questions.

Miss Charles said Bray-Wiltshire had only handed over £5,000 or £6,000 of the damages award to the sister, despite being given six years to pay.

Robert Ellison, defending, said it had never been Bray-Wiltshire’s intention to have a trial as he intended to admit charges from an early stage.

“He has had the courage to plead guilty,” said Mr Ellison. “There is no challenge to the victim’s account whatsoever.”

The boy, he said, made allegations to the police in 1993 and 1995 and withdrew them. It was not until 2001 that he made a full statement.

In the meantime Bray-Wiltshire, had remarried but his wife was divorcing him after he told her about the abuse.

“He has always worked in responsible positions in the plastics industry,” said Mr Ellison. “He has been working as a manager of a factory in Manchester. He has resigned from that job because of these allegations.

“His marriage has ended, his work is finished. He sits behind me simply waiting to go to prison. My only invitation to the court is to keep the sentence as short as possible.”

Mr Ellison said drink had acted as “some terrible form of disinhibitor”. He had since expressed his remorse.

“I can assure the court he is very much aware of the terrible unhappiness and misery he has caused,” he said.

Ordering Bray-Wiltshire to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and banning him from working with children, Judge Michael Neligan said: “You know, of course, the harm that you have done.”