May 20, 2022 2.00 pm This story is over 24 months old

Fiddler sentenced to almost five years in jail for eight child sex offences

He was caught by a decoy at a church

A Bourne man who admitted a string of sexual offences after being caught by a “decoy” at a church has been jailed for four years and eight months, Lincoln Crown Court heard today.

Anthony Fiddler, 38, of Recreation Road, Bourne, was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for 10 years after he pleaded guilty to eight sexual charges.

Fiddler admitted having sexual communications with a 15-year-old boy between May 17, 2021 and May 24, 2021.

In a second charge relating to the same child Fiddler pleaded guilty to causing him to watch a sexual act on May 24 2021.

Fiddler also admitted two charges of attempted sexual communication with girls aged 12 and 14 between May 24, 2021 and May 25, 2021.

He also pleaded guilty to a fifth charge of attempting to incite a 14-year-old girl to engage in a sexual act between the same dates.

Lincoln Crown Court heard the girls aged 12 and 14 were in fact decoys.

Fiddler also admitted three further charges of making indecent photographs of children between August 2000 and November 2020.

The charges related to 124 images in the most serious category of A, 86 category B images and 630 category C images.

Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, said the offences arose out of online contacts made by Fiddler with one teenage boy and two decoys pretending to be girls aged under-16.

Miss Bradley told the court Fiddler made contact with a 15-year-old boy after seeing an advert for gardening services.

The court heard Fiddler requested pictures from the two decoys and sent one a sexual image of himself.

Miss Bradley said Fiddler was caught after he arranged to meet one of the decoys at a church in Bourne.

The civilian decoy was present along with the police when Fiddler arrived.

Police found indecent images of children when they analysed Fiddler’s mobile phone.

Karen Walton, defending Fiddler, had asked for sentence to be adjourned for the preparation of a probation report and to consider if Fiddler was suitable for treatment in the community.

The court heard Fiddler had just one previous conviction for exposure in 2005.

But Miss Walton said Fiddler had come to court prepared for prison.

“He is struggling come to terms with what he has done,” Miss Walton added.

Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC told Fiddler the really concerning aspect of his offending was that he was going to meet the decoy at a church in Bourne.

“Of great concern is that you arranged to meet one of the girls at Bourne Abbey Church,” Judge Pini said.

“I do not at this stage assess you as dangerous, but that is the direction in which you are travelling.”

Investigating Officer Charlie Walmsley, of Lincolnshire Police Protecting Vulnerable People, said: “Our detailed investigation uncovered some deeply concerning activity and indecent images of the most serious grading.

“Thanks should go to those witnesses who acted as online decoys to highlight this dangerous individual to us.

“I hope that the case gives some reassurance and confidence that we take this very seriously and we will do all in our power to fully investigate and bring offenders to justice. If you ever have suspicions or concerns about an individual or their behaviour, please report them.”