June 2011

SUSPENDED JAIL FOR CUMBRIA SWIM POOL PERVERT

A man who incited a 10-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity with him has been given a suspended 12-month jail sentence.

Sam Daniel Winder, 22, had denied the offence, claiming he had been playing a game with the girl during the incident at Armathwaite Pool in August last year.

But he was convicted of the crime after a trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

In court on Friday, prosecuting barrister Greg Hoare told judge Paul Batty QC that the incident had been traumatic for the youngster involved.

Her mother had reported that she had suffered nightmares, sleepless nights and health problems as a result of what happened.

Claire Thomas, for Winder, of Kirkley House, Great Corby, said her client had been terrified at the prospect of a prison sentence.

Somebody who had worked hard at school, he had become a ski instructor but his conviction meant this work was no longer available to him.

The barrister said: “There is a very positive side to this young man’s character.

“He’s well thought of by a lot of people. Since these allegations and conviction, the majority of his friends have stood by him.”

But Judge Batty, who had earlier accepted that the defendant incited sexual activity but there had been no actual contact, said: “I find this a very concerning case,”

He outlined how Winder had locked himself in a changing room with the girl, and despite her distress had three times asked her to put her hands down his shorts to retrieve a pair of goggles.

The child had then unlocked the door and ran out of the cubicle in a state of considerable distress.

“It has had a considerable effect on that little girl, who feels she can’t now trust men,” said Judge Batty.

Despite a raft of references speaking of his previous good character, Judge Batty told Winder: “There are serious problems which need to be addressed in your life and the sooner you understand and get on with it the better.”

He suspended the jail term for two years and also imposed supervision for the same period, a sexual offences prevention order barring him from working with or having unsupervised contact with any child, and he ordered that Winder’s name to go on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.