October 2022

Tewkesbury childminding assistant jailed for abusing girl, 4

A man who sexually abused a four-year-old girl while working as a childminding assistant has been jailed for 10 years.

The girl used dolls to illustrate to the jury how Stephen Walker, from Walton Cardiff, near Tewkesbury, abused her when taking her to the toilet.

The 56-year-old was found unanimously guilty of assaulting a child aged under thirteen.

The nursery has ceased trading as a result of the allegations.

Judge Ian Lawrie KC praised the young victim for the way she gave her “compelling evidence” via video link to Gloucester Crown Court on Friday.

He said she had been “clear and precise” and had spoken without hesitation as she told the jury what Walker had done to her on “lots of days” last year.

In his police interview Walker denied the allegations and said he did not take girls to the toilet “to prevent allegations such as this”, but said the victim would often seek cuddles from him.

Prosecutor Tabby Macfarlane said the child had “complained to her mother that her ‘middle hurt’ – middle being the four-year-old’s term for her genitals”.

She told both her mother and her grandmother that Walker had hurt her while taking her to the toilet.

The young victim was interviewed by officers at a special child-friendly location with support workers in attendance.

Mr Lawrie told Walker he had been convicted on the “compelling evidence of a four-year-old girl”.

Walker is also barred from having any contact with children under the age of 18 for an indefinite period and will have to sign the sex offender’s register for life.