June 2020

Respected NHS manager jailed for sexually abusing schoolgirl 

A manager with the NHS in Swansea has been revealed as a sexual predator who abused a girl almost two decades ago.

Matthew Fisher repeatedly assaulted the 15-year-old at a number of locations around the county, including in the grounds of a popular wedding venue.

The offending took place in the early 2000s but was not reported to the police until the victim bumped into her attacker by chance while she was attending hospital.

In an impact statement read to Swansea Crown Court the woman Fisher abused as a child said it was “like there is no escape from painful memories” of what happened.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said the defendant sexually abused his then 15-year-old victim over the course of around 12 months during the early 2000s.

Fisher – who is now a health service manager but at the time ran the popular Riley’s snooker hall in Gorseinon – subjected the schoolgirl to repeated assaults.

The offending took place on “numerous” occasions, and at a number of different locations, including at Manor Park in Clydach.

The prosecutor said the youngster remembered on one occasion Fisher had “smirked” at her while carrying out an assault.

The court heard that Fisher told the girl not to tell anyone about the abuse, or he would end up in prison.

The abuse was not reported at the time, but the victim did to the police following a chance meeting between the pair at hospital in 2012.

In an impact statement read to the court by the prosecutor, the victim said that thanks to her abuser she “didn’t get the start in early adulthood every child deserves”.

She said the abuse made her give up on her education, had greatly affected her mental health, and had led to her being on anti-depressant medication since her teenage years.

She said it was “like there is no escape from the painful memories” and “I wish I could erase him from my mind”.

The woman described how she had been a “scared young girl at the disposal of an older man”, adding: “I just want to be the adult I should have matured into.”

Fisher, aged 44, of Penrhos Place, Gendros, Swansea, pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent assault and one count of indecency with a child when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.

Judge Geraint Walters told the defendant he had subjected the girl to repeated assaults over a prolonged period – abuse which had clearly had a significant impact on her.

He said it was not an easy case to sentence due to the different regime of offences and sentences which had applied at the time of the offending.

Giving the defendant a one-third discount for his guilty pleas the judge sentenced him to two years for each of the seven offences, all the sentences to run concurrently making an overall sentence of two years.

Fisher will also be a registered sex offender for the next 10 years.