Paedophile admits sexually assaulting child in shop just yards from youngster’s mother

January 21, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

A known paedophile has admitted molesting a five-year-old girl in the corner of a SHOP – while her mother was just yards away.

Sick Stephen Reynolds, 53, pounced on the youngster as she sat on the floor of the 99p Store in Swindon, Wilts., reading children’s books.

He led her to a quiet corner at the back of the shop, out of range of the CCTV camera, and assaulted her while her mother browsed in an adjacent aisle.

Reynolds pleaded guilty via video link at Swindon Magistrates Court to a charge of sexual assault after previously admitting breaching a sexual offences order by approaching her.

He was previously known to police following a series of offences including being caught trying to take pictures of girls in the changing rooms at the town’s Oasis leisure centre.

Reynolds – who was the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) – was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a later date.

The court heard how the offence happened in the 99p store in Havelock Street, Swindon, at 3.30pm on December 31

CCTV cameras in the nearby Brunel shopping centre had earlier filmed him looking into the Early Learning Centre for around 20 minutes.

The five-year-old and her younger sister were left sitting on the floor by their mother while she shopped just yards away.

Prosceuting, Tony Nowogrodzki told Swindon Crown Court that Reynolds approached the two youngsters in the minute or so that they were left alone.

He said: ”The CCTV film shows that the defendant sees her with her sibling, waits for other people to leave the immediate area and approaches.

”He takes something off the shelf and crouches down to talk to her. She moves away.

”In a video interview with police, she said he had asked her to move to a different place further back in the shop. This area is out of range of the CCTV camera.

”There, she told police that he touched her sexually.”

Eight people recognised Reynolds in CCTV images released by police invesigating the crime – including the public protection officer whose job was to stop him reoffending.

The protection officer was appointed after Reynolds was put on the sex offenders register following a series of offences in 2007.

Reynolds, of Lechlade, Glos., was remanded in custody and will appear at Swindon Crown Court for sentencing at a later date.

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