July 2009

Treatment order for sex abuser

A man who sexually abused a 10-year-old girl in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, in 2000 has been told he must attend a sex offenders’ treatment programme

Robert Banton, 56, was also banned from having unsupervised access to children and can only have limited access to the internet as part of a Sex Offences Prevention Order imposed by a judge at Luton Crown Court.

Banton’s secret came to light after the girl’s mother was told he was on the Sex Offenders’ Register for indecent exposure in Coventry.

He had exposed himself to a group of three girls in September 2006. After pulling down his trousers he said: “Do you like this girls?”

The court in Coventry placed him on the Sex Offenders’ Register and passed a three-year Community Order.

The police informed the girl’s mother in Stotfold. Her daughter then revealed that Banton had abused her. 

“The girl said the defendant used to buy her presents and made her look for them wearing a nightie with no knickers on”, said prosecutor Bozzie Sheffie. 

Banton, who owns a property in Thailand and has a Thai wife, also indecently touched the girl.

Banton of Archer Close, Maidenhead, Berks, admitted five charges of indecent assault between January 1 2000 and December 31 2001. 

He had also been committed to Luton Crown Court for possessing indecent images of children, having pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court.

The prosecutor said the police found 129 indecent images of young girls on Banton’s work computer. He had searched the internet using the words “teenage girls.” 

All of the images found at Level 1 – the lowest level, she said.

Defence barrister Antonie Muller said Banton had successfully completed a sex offender programme imposed for the indecent exposure in Coventry. 

He said he had not committed any offences since then. 

He said the indecent images were “not a massive total” and were of “minimum seriousness.”

Mr Muller said that since the previous hearing someone had written to all 16 neighbours in his cul-de-sac informing them of the details of the case.

Passing a three-year Community Order, Judge Barbara Mensah said: “These are nasty offences, to put it mildy. 

“I have read the victim impact statement and the offences had a devastating effect on her.”

December 2006

Mums’ anger over sentence for flasher

A PERVERT who exposed himself to three girls in a Coventry street has avoided jail – to the disgust of the victims’ parents.

Robert Banton, formerly of Lakin Road, Warwick, received a community order with a three-year supervision requirement at Coventry Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to indecent exposure.

The 54-year-old businessman was also required to attend a sex offenders’ programme for 300 hours and to be placed on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

The court heard that on September 14 Banton approached three girls, aged 11 and 12, in Yarningale Road, Willenhall.

He pulled down his trousers and said: “You like that don’t you girls”, exposing himself for two seconds before they fled.

The court heard that Banton attempted to grab one of them but all three escaped to a local shop.

A witness told the court that he had seen Banton lurking in the area for some time before the offence, watching the children and getting in and out of his car.

Lawrence Watts, defending, said Banton had already lost his home and his business as a result of his actions.

He said: “This was a one-off incident and this man has suffered significantly already as a result of his offending.

“For many years he has been thought of as nothing other than a throughly decent man.”

Sentencing Banton, Judge Patrick Eccles said: “You have gone a significant way towards showing the remorse and shame you should show.

“These girls were extremely frightened by the experience you subjected them to and one does not know the extent to which their trust in adults has been damaged.”

The mothers of the three girls said they were devastated by the court’s decision not to send Banton to jail.

One said: “Our little girls have lost their innocence and he has lost nothing.”

Another added: “As far as I am concerned he remains a threat to society.”

Detective Simon Hanlon, the officer in charge of the case, said: “Obviously the families are very upset. We respect the judge’s decision but we are disappointed for the families.”