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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Carlisle funfair worker found guilty of abusing girl

A funfair worker from Carlisle has been jailed after he was convicted of repeatedly abusing a little girl when he was a teenager.

Christopher Fiddler, 29, was found guilty of five counts of indecently assaulting the girl when she was aged around six and he was 15.

He was sent to prison for 18 months yesterday but it will be up to an official body to decide if he can continue working at funfairs with young children.

The court heard how he had built his life around the fairs after joining them 10 years ago – after his offending had ended.

During his five-day trial in February, the jury heard that the girl’s family found out about the accusations at the time but they agreed not to involve police if Fiddler wrote a letter to them, apologising for his actions.

Fiddler, of Greengarth, Upperby, thought he had heard the last of it until 18 months ago, when he was arrested after his victim went to the police.

Prosecutor Kim Whittlestone told Carlisle Crown Court yesterday that he had touched the girl ‘mostly’ over her clothing.

“It came to an end when she was eight [and her parents found out],” Mrs Whittlestone said.

“Her father spoke to him and his parents and there has been no contact since.”

Fiddler’s defence barrister said that Fiddler had been of good character since and a pre-sentence report concluded that he was at low risk of re-offending.

Jailing him for 18 months – to run concurrently on each charge – Judge Barbara Forrester disqualified Fiddler from working with children and gave him a sex offenders prevention order for 10 years.

She said she would refer the case to the independent self-regulating authority to decide whether he could continue working on funfairs.

“You are prohibited from living or sleeping in the same house as a child under 16 and from inviting children under 16 into your home,” the judge told Fiddler.

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