November 2020

Jail threat for babysitter found guilty of abusing girl

A babysitter has been found found guilty of molesting a young girl in the 1990s while he read her younger sister bedtime stories.

Jurors at Swindon Crown Court took more than eight hours to find Antony Williams guilty by a majority of 10 to 2 of two counts of indecent assault.

The 37-year-old, of Ramsbury Avenue, Penhill, was acquitted of three other indecent assault charges.

Bailing Williams to return to court for sentence on January 11, Judge Peter Crabtree said: “The jury have convicted you of two offences. They are serious, the starting point is custody, but I will take into account you were only 15 or 16.”

During the trial, jurors heard prosecutors allege Williams was in his mid-teens when he allegedly carried out the abuse in the late 1990s.

Virginia Cornwall, for the Crown, said the alleged assaults all took place while he was babysitting the complainant. He also looked after the girl’s younger sister, although there was no suggestion he had assaulted her.

It was said Williams had touched the older girl’s private parts as she lay on her bed. His victim also alleged he got her to touch him sexually, including while he read bedtime stories to her younger sister.

Interviewed by police in 2018, the victim said: “I just thought it was normal. I didn’t think anything of it.” She described freezing during the abuse, saying it had left her feeling dirty.

The girl was said to have told her mum about what had happened, prompting the woman to confront Williams. He denied sexually assaulting the girl

Opening the case, prosecutor Ms Cornwall said: “The Crown say that this defendant was, during the course with which we are concerned, of an age where he knew very well what was right and what was wrong and that is why he is before you now.”