May 2011

Babysitter, 48, is spared jail term

A babysitter who molested a six-year-old boy has been spared a prison sentence.

Andrew Filer, of Bonhill Road, Bishop Sutton, abused the boy while the youngster’s parents were out in December 2009, a court heard last week.

Bachelor Filer, who has learning difficulties, stayed overnight in the family home but soon after he left in the morning the boy disclosed to his parents that he had touched him intimately.

The 48-year-old, who had no previous convictions, had babysat the boy before without problems, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

Police arrested Filer the next day and he admitted that he had pulled down the boy’s trousers and sexually abused him for about ten minutes, said Ian Dixey, prosecuting.

Filer, who lives with his mother, pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual activity with a child and was sentenced to a two-year community order with supervision.

He was also disqualified indefinitely from working with children and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for the next five years.

Anna Vigars, defending, said Filer has held down the same job for 27 years despite having learning difficulties and an IQ of only 59 – the average is 100.

Judge William Hart said someone who did what Filer did would usually be locked up but in his case he felt it was not necessary in view of his previous good record, his low IQ and his learning disabilities.

The judge said the family who asked Filer to babysit trusted him and had “absolutely no reason not to”.

He said: “There is no criticism whatsoever to be directed towards them.”

The judge told Filer: “Everyone who has children and who comes into contact with you will be aware now of the danger you pose.”