January 2020

Droitwich pool pervert guilty of child sex act

A pervert has been found guilty of a ‘gross’ sex act in front of a boy of 10 in a swimming pool shower room and the judge said it was plain he had ‘done it before’.

Former NHS manager Neil Brown was convicted of engaging in sexual activity in front of a child at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.

The 53-year-old looked at the boy, smiled and raised his eyebrows as he performed the act at Droitwich Leisure Centre on December 16, 2017.

Because of Brown’s plea the boy, now 12, was required to come to court and answer questions about his ordeal in front of a jury.

The boy compared the act to Brown ‘shaking a bottle’ but the defendant claimed he could not have committed the offence because he had suffered from erectile dysfunction following a breakdown on September 14, 2017.

He also said he had phimosis (tightness of the foreskin) and had been ‘washing’ his private parts after being advised by a GP about penis hygiene.

The panel had already been deliberating for more than three hours when the judge gave the majority direction, urging the jury to continue working towards a unanimous verdict but telling them, if they could not reach one, a verdict upon which at least 10 of them agreed would be accepted.

The jury convicted Brown of Alcester Road, Feckenham, by a majority of 11 to one after four hours and 19 minutes of deliberation.

The prosecution was conducted by Ravi Sidhu who argued that the boy was targeted by Brown, telling the jury: “In a nutshell this is about child sex abuse.”

Brown kept on getting in the boy’s way in the pool before following him into the showers just two minutes after he left the water.

The defendant chose to shower next to him before pulling his trunks down at the front and committing the act, smiling and panting as if ‘he did the marathon’, the boy said.

The boy’s feet did not even touch the floor from the couch where he was interviewed by police. He mimed the act, describing it as like Brown ‘shaking a bottle’ and calling it ‘gross’.

Police seized an iPad and a Samsung phone from the defendant’s flat. In messages to another gay man on December 7 (nine days before the offence) Brown had talked about performing a sex act on himself in swimming pool changing room.

Police also discovered a handwritten note which said ‘me and 10-year-old friend’. Brown had conducted internet searches for ‘what boys do alone’ though he claimed ‘boy’ was a reference to ‘twinks’, men aged 18 to 25, and not children.

Police also found he had sent photos of himself in state of arousal in November 2017 to another man despite saying he had erectile dysfunction.

Judge Nicolas Cartwright did not sentence the defendant in the absence of a pre-sentence report yet to be prepared by the probation service.

He said: “Can I say this – it would be very much to your advantage if you were frank with them rather than maintaining the pretence and nonsense that this hadn’t happened.

“Plainly you have done it before. The more frank you are with the probation service the better the quality of the report they will be able to prepare as to the proposals for sentence.”

Officers in the case who attended throughout the trial were PC Pete Meredith and PC Dan Smart.

Brown is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, February 18