March 2013

Prison for ‘predator’ who sexually abused children

radstock

A MAN convicted of molesting seven youngsters has been jailed for ten-and-a-half years.

Robert Brownlow gained access to the girls over a period spanning 15 years, Bristol Crown Court heard.

A jury was told he touched them improperly when they were aged between four and 13.

Brownlow, 59, of Queen’s Road, Radstock, denied wrongdoing but was found guilty of 26 charges of sexual assault following a trial.

Judge Michael Longman said when Brownlow carried out the sexual assaults, youngsters felt uncomfortable and dirty.

He said the not guilty pleas demonstrated Brownlow felt “not the slightest flicker of remorse”.

The judge told Brownlow: “Each offence does not constitute the gravest form of sexual assault.

“The seriousness is the number of times that you touched the girls, their ages at the time and the number of girls you touched over a period of 15 years.

“Each victim had to describe your behaviour to the court and be cross-examined.

“Each witness was accused of lying and fabricating evidence against you.”

Brownlow was made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO), banning him from unsupervised contact with youngsters.

He was told to sign as a sex offender indefinitely and was banned from working with children indefinitely.

Ian Fenny, prosecuting, said Brownlow was investigated and cautioned for improper behaviour in 1995.

He told the jury that, last year, more allegations of sexual abuse emerged, which prompted a police investigation and prosecution.

Brendon Moorhouse, defending, urged the judge to place most of the offences in the bottom sentencing guidelines bracket.

Mr Moorhouse stressed his client was never working in a position of trust with children.

He told the court: “But for this conduct the defendant is otherwise very well respected and liked by those who meet him. The sentence will have a considerable effect on him whilst he is incarcerated. In future he will have no contact with children again.”

Detective Inspector Mike Williams, of Avon and Somerset police, said: “My thoughts are with the victims of this investigation, who bravely gave evidence during the trial, of sexual offences committed against them by a manipulative sexual predator.”