Sex offender manipulated father of two young girls - Luton

26/07/2013

A sex offender, who knew he was a risk to young girls, 'manipulated' a situation where he would gain the trust of the father of a 7-year-old girl.

No-one knew that 59-year-old David Fowler had been jailed for five years in 1996 for indecently assaulting a girl, also aged seven, and had three previous convictions for sexual offences.

He was living alone in sheltered housing in Luton, where it was unlikely he would have access to young children, but a court heard he 'ingratiated' himself to a father of two girls.

Over time the girls would come into his flat to watch cartoons, and he began abusing one of them, said prosecutor, Helen Guest, at Luton Crown Court.

Fowler, of Hart Hill Drive, Luton, pleaded not guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and sexual assault of the same victim, but was convicted by a jury last month.

On Friday, 26 July 2013, he was back at the court to be sentenced. Judge Barbara Mensah jailed him for two years and made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) to ensure that on his release the same situation could not arise. He must tell housing authorities of his convictions and the police of where he is living. He will also be on the Sex Offenders Register.

Tim Nutley, defending said: "He now acknowledges that he is a risk to children and is not safe to be around them, and welcomes any intervention to prevent this happening again in the future. He hopes to get counselling in prison."

Judge Mensah said: "You are obsessed with very young girls.

"This family trusted you and it is a concern that your previous convictions were not brought to the attention of somebody. That father did not know you were a sex offender, and you ingratiated yourself with him.

"You are assessed as a high risk of serious harm to children, and if given the opportunity you will manipulate a situation to get yourself some sexual gratification."

Miss Guest, prosecuting said the latest offences took place over a month between December last year and January this year. They involved touching the girl's leg over her clothes, and often going into the toilet with her.

The prosecutor said Fowler was jailed for five years in 1996 after he followed a 7-year-old girl from a park into the toilets and locked the door and removed his trousers. Her mother heard her screams and he ran off. He was jailed for one month in 1990 for indecent assault, given probation in 1989 for indecent assault, and given a conditional discharge in 1982 for unlawful sexual intercourse.

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