Carer sentenced for rape and sexual offences on children


Michael Ponzo, 20, from Swindon was today sentenced at Swindon Crown Court to two offences of rape, 13 sexual assaults on a child under the age of 13 and 24 offences relating to indecent images of children. Most of the offences were against five children all aged under 13 and took place between 2011 and 2015.

He was sentenced to a total of 10 years' imprisonment with an extended licence of five years.

Following the sentence, Mary-Ruth Johnson, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Wessex Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) Unit said:

"Michael Ponzo has committed every parent's worst nightmare. He raped a child, sexually assaulted children and took images of his abuse. He abused the trust parents had placed in him to look after their children. The parents of three of the children had contacted him via a childcare website as they were looking for either a carer or baby-sitter.

"All the child victims in this case were vulnerable as they were very young when the offences took place.

"The impact of Michael Ponzo's crimes has been devastating and now the children, and their families, have to recover from this terrible episode.

"CPS Wessex RASSO Unit will continue to work relentlessly with the police to bring such offenders to court. Our thoughts are with the victims and the parents in this case. We hope that they will find closure and that they will be able to move on with their lives."