Man jailed for sexual offences at swimming pool - Aylesbury


A man appeared at Amersham Crown Court today, Wednesday, 21 October 2015, and was jailed for 30 months for sexual offences in Aylesbury.

Anthony Crawford, aged 40, of Blenheim Crescent, Luton, was found guilty by majority verdict at the same court in September of assault on a female 13 and over by penetration, sexual assault on a female, and observing a person doing a private act.

He was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for the assault by penetration, 12 months imprisonment for the sexual assault, and 12 months for observing a person doing a private act, all to run concurrently.  He was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to register as a sex offender.

On 7 February 2015, Crawford sexually assaulted two teenage girls in the changing area of Aqua Vale Swimming Pool in Park Street, Aylesbury.

On 2 April 2015, at the same swimming pool, Crawford looked under the bottom of a changing room cubicle at a 19-year-old woman who was getting changed.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the sexual assault of two teenage girls (aged 15 and 16) and the spying on a 19-year-old woman, while she was getting changed, by a man earlier this year in the changing rooms at the Aqua Vale swimming pool, Park Street, Aylesbury.

"Anthony Crawford, aged 40, of Blenheim Crescent, Luton, sexually abused the teenage girls for his own sexual gratification.  It is only due to the great courage of the victims that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed.  I would like to pay tribute to them for their strength and tenacity in coming forward.

"Crawford handed himself in to the police after media appeals, and admitted spying on the girls, but denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct, but after a three-day trial at Amersham Crown Court, he was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday, 23 September 2015, of assaulting a female aged 13 and over by penetration, sexual assault on a female and observing a person doing a private act.

"The conviction and today's sentence serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward so that the abusers can be brought to justice and others can be saved from the horrific ordeal of abuse.  The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The emotional impact, on the victims and their families, of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify.  I hope that the conviction and sentence gives some small comfort to them.  Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Lynda Stearman from Force CID at Aylesbury police station said: "Firstly, I would like to thank the victims for their courage in coming forward to report these offences to police, and their bravery in going through the court process. It is thanks to them that Crawford is now behind bars. I hope that the sentence today will give them a sense of justice being served and enable them to start to move on with their lives.

"I hope this case demonstrates that Thames Valley Police will always take reports of crimes of this nature seriously, we will investigate thoroughly and we will do everything we can to ensure sex offenders like Crawford are brought to justice."