October 2003

Teenage sex offender evades prison

A teenager who sexually molested a young girl has escaped prison.

Simon Walker, 18, pleaded guilty to four offences of indecent assault and a further five allegations of indecency with a child.

Walker, of Kent Road, Gilstead, near Bingley, committed the offences over a ten-month period last year.

Matters came to light in February after the ten-year-old victim’s school contacted her mother about behavioural problems.

The youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was interviewed by specially-trained officers.

When Walker was arrested later that day, he immediately told them: “It’s true, but I did not rape her.”

Walker was 17 at the time of the offences and his barrister Michelle Colborne told Bradford Crown Court yesterday that he was immature and naive.

The Honorary Recorder of Bradford, Judge Stephen Gullick, told him: “You were at the time immature and sexually naive.

“I’m told that the behaviour in which you indulged was by way of experimentation.

“Needless to say, it was wholly wrong and amounted to a number of criminal offences which you have admitted on this indictment.”

The judge said those who heard the details of the offences would be “immediately repulsed”.

But he took the view that the appropriate course was to give Walker the opportunity to be rehabilitated in the community.

He said the teenager would be the subject of a community rehabilitation order for the next three years and would have to participate in a programme for sex offenders.

As a result of his offending he will also have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next five years.