July 2019

John Battersby-Hill asked young girl to remove top

A pensioner asked a young girl to remove her top so he could take her photo.

John Robert Battersby-Hill, 69, made the perverted proposition during an encounter last October.

“He asked the child to take off her top so he could take a picture,” prosecutor Charles Brown told Carlisle Crown Court.

“She refused. During the course of the conversation she called him a creep. He told her not to say anything about it.”

However, the primary school age child did report the incident. Police were called and Battersby-Hill, of Meadow Road, Wigton was arrested.

He admitted the offence in interview. Police also seized electronic devices, finding illegal child images on one.

“Many of the images are referred to as pseudo images,” said Mr Brown. “They involve placing the head and face of child acting star Emma Watson on to various other bodies.

“He admitted downloading the images. He said he had a particular fascination with Emma Watson.”

“Concerning” internet searches attributed to Battersby-Hill also referred to young girls.

He later pleaded guilty to causing or inciting a child to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity. He also admitted downloading a total of 41 illegal images of children – two were classed in category A, the most serious.

Judge James Adkin said a specialist pre-sentence report prepared on the defendant by a probation officer was “an unhappy document to say the least”.

But David Thompson, defending, suggested work could be done with Battersby-Hill in the community to address his criminal conduct and prevent further offending.

Mr Thompson said to the judge: “I would ask you to step back from the imposition of immediate custody in the circumstances of this particular case.”

After hearing mitigation, Judge Adkin suspended a two-year jail term for 24 months. Battersby-Hill must complete rehabilitation, and a sex offender treatment course comply. He must also sign the sex offenders’ register and abide by the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order, both for 10 years.