Football referee from Burghfield Common sexually abused eight young boys
A children’s football referee has been jailed for sexually abusing eight boys over a 20-year period.
A judge at Reading Crown Court heard that even in his day job as a milkman, Peter Fisher would pick up children in his float, drive to secluded streets and molest them.
The 62-year-old, who sexually assaulted the boys from the age of nine to 13 years, was jailed for eight years on Tuesday, September 18 after admitting a string of charges.
The court in Reading, Berkshire heard the Sunday League referee had tried to kill himself several times after the offences came to light and was, until his sentencing, “resting” at a psychiatric hospital.
Sentencing, Judge Johanna Cutts said the charges were “extremely serious” despite hearing his only mitigation was that he had admitted the offences early on during his police interview.
She heard Fisher, of Sun Gardens, Burghfield Common, Berkshire, felt an overwhelming sense of shame and remorse for his actions between 1984 and 2004 and tried to commit suicide.
Fisher, was an amateur football referee at the time and Charles Ward-Jackson, prosecuting, told the court how he would drive a number of his victims to and from football training and would sexually assault them in his car.
Outlining the case, Mr Ward-Jackson said Fisher would also invite a boy over to his house on the basis he would play pool with his son.
When his victim arrived Fisher’s son would not be there and Fisher instead showed him pornographic films and pressured him into sexual activity.
His victim then became upset and unwilling and re-dressed himself and at this point he relented and drove his victim back home.
Nicola Cafferkey, defending, said: “We agree with Mr Fisher’s culpability for abuse of trust and grooming.
“We would submit that in this case the most important mitigation is the guilty pleas that were entered at a very early stage.
“It is right to say that throughout this procedure he has taken responsibility for his actions and has demonstrated a genuine remorse.
“Those matters are often lacking in cases of this nature. Mr Fisher has been overwhelmed by a sense of shame and remorse.
“The last offending was 14 years ago. It is right to say that for many years he was a hard-working man and spent a lot of time looking after his ill wife who has since died.”
She added: “For the past months Mr Fisher has been resting in Prospect Park Hospital.
“It is right to say that for the past 18 months he has been suffering from severe depression and stress and there have been a number of suicide attempts.”
Father-of-three Fisher originally admitted his crimes during police interview – but otherwise made no comment.
Judge Cutts QC said: “I am to sentence you for extremely serious offences. Over a 20-year period, from 1984 to 2004 you indecently assaulted eight young boys.
“It is your best mitigation that you have admitted your guilt at the earliest opportunity.”
She also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered Fisher be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
Judge Cutts said of the victims, who cannot be identified for legal reasons: “I very much commend their courage and hope they can now get on with their lives.”
Fisher, admitted six counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under 14 years, four counts of indecent assault on a boy under 14 years and two further counts of inciting a boy to commit act of gross indecency.
Child abusing referee set to be sentenced for string of sex crimes