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John Wiltshire sexually abused teenage girl
“PATHETIC and weak” – those were the words used to describe a former youth club leader who has been jailed for five years after grooming and sexually abusing a teenage girl.
John Wiltshire was once a respected member of the Whitchurch community as leader of Chill 2 This youth club. He even won an award for his work with the club for 10 to 14-year-olds.
But the 64-year-old’s name will now remain forever on the Sex Offenders Register after he pleaded guilty to 10 offences, including sexual activity with a child under 16.
The father-of-two’s crimes were read out at Winchester Crown Court, with parents of the youth club youngsters among those listening to the shocking details in the public gallery.
They heard that disgraced Wiltshire became addicted to looking at indecent images of children and was discovered to have thousands of images of children between the ages of two and 16 on his computer and a memory stick.
He was reported to police by a family acquaintance who confronted him after finding an image “of concern”, but he denied any wrong-doing and deleted the other images.
Police officers then found an image of Wiltshire’s victim, naked, and when they interviewed her, she eventually talked about what had happened.
Prosecutor Rob Welling said Wiltshire persuaded his victim to take part in sexual activity by buying her various gifts including clothes and an iPhone, and told her not to tell anyone what was going on. She told the police that Wiltshire “tried his luck” because he saw her as an “easy target”.
Mr Welling said the victim’s mother was “thoroughly shocked after discovering what had been going on. She said Wiltshire was a man the whole community trusted and respected, and feels let down and a total fool for letting him spend so much time with her daughter.”
Wiltshire, of Evingar Road, Whitchurch, pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual activity with a child, which took place over two-and-a-half years, one count of taking indecent photographs of children, and four counts of making indecent images of children.
Defending Wiltshire, Adrienne Knight said: “It got completely out of control, and in a very short space of time he became addicted to going on the internet and viewing these images.”
Miss Knight said that after sexual relations had ended between Wiltshire and his wife, her client became involved with his victim.
She added: “The opportunity to be with this girl was there, and she was flourishing and had gone through puberty and reminded him of his first experience when he was 15. He hasn’t spent his life being attracted to young girls.”
Describing Wiltshire as “pathetic and weak”, Miss Knight said: “He felt sick each time he did what he did. This is a moral man knowing he was doing something immoral and illegal.”
She told the court Wiltshire had a troubled past, spending time in foster care as a child. Character references were submitted to the court, including from his ex-wife.
Miss Knight said Wiltshire’s life was now “ruined” and his wife, although supportive, was divorcing him.
Wiltshire hung his head and wiped away tears as Judge Keith Cutler sentenced him to five years in prison, with a three-year extended licence.
He said: “People use the term pillar of society, a man trusted and respected. Not only have you let yourself down, you have let these people down.”
Judge Cutler added: “You are facing lonely and miserable years of your life. But you might realise, this is something you deserve.”