A PAEDOPHILE with a history of sexual assault has been jailed after he was caught on CCTV repeatedly touching a group of children in an Ilminster pub.

Martyn Walker, 26, was sentenced to seven years in prison at Taunton Crown Court last week after he pleaded guilty to 10 charges of carrying out sexual acts on children under the age of 13.

The court heard that Walker had been in an Ilminster pub at the time of the offending, when he sexually touched four children, the youngest being just two years of age.

The defendant, who appeared by video link from Exeter HMP, had been playing pool with one of the children out of sight of their parents when he began his ‘opportunistic’ assaults which continued over a period of two hours.

Virginia Cornwall, prosecuting, said: “On the day of the offending, the children were running around together. It was an ordinary afternoon.
“However, the defendant was taking every opportunity to sexually touch the children in the area of the pool table.”

The court heard that the most serious of the allegations involved Walker touching a girl under her clothing.

Judge David Evans said: “I have watched the CCTV footage and the defendant is constantly touching her.”

Miss Cornwall added: “She kept asking him to stop. She didn’t tell her mum because she was scared she wouldn’t believe her, but she did tell her grandfather.”

The victim’s family reported the incident to Chard Police Station and Walker was arrested at 9pm that same day.

The court heard Walker denied sexually touching the girl in his interview and police were not fully aware of the extent of his crimes against all four children until after they had viewed the CCTV footage.

Judge Evans said that parents had described Walker as previously being “nice and trustworthy” and added that they “clearly had some confidence in him”.

He added: “You (Walker) were known to the adults in that pub. No one there had any cause for concern about your potential behaviour.”
However, the court heard Walker had previously been convicted of 10 offences of a sexual nature against two young boys when he was 17.
When he was sentenced in 2009, Walker was given a sexual harm prevention order which the court removed at his request in January.

Judge Evans said: “It is now clear that you have not overcome the sexual and psychological urges which underlie your offending.”
In sentencing, the judge said the children had entered the pub with their parents after a day at school.

He added: “While adults were socialising, the girl asked you for a game of pool, which happened to be around the corner out of sight.
“Your sexual urge to touch the girl and the boys is, from the footage, as plain as day.”

Walker’s most frequent and serious assaults were conducted against a girl under 13.

Judge Evans said: “She told the police you groomed her, but she didn’t use that word. When you did offend against her you touched various parts of her body – her backside, between her legs, over her clothing and on occasion under her clothing. You were also kissing her.

“You were urgent, even frantic and at times forceful. As a result, you hurt her.

“She didn’t have the resources to rescue herself from the situation, and as she left the pub you told her not to tell anyone.

“It can be seen your touching is sexual and it can be seen you had touched those boys.”

Walker was sentenced to a total of seven years in prison for his crimes, followed by two years on license. He was also given a sexual harm prevention order for life.