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12 June 2015, 17:21 | Updated: 12 June 2015, 17:28
A 49-year-old man has been sentenced to a total of five years at Reading Crown Court for a number of sex offences against children in Bracknell.
Simon McLaren-Tosh, of Bracknell Road in Warfield, was charged on 9 March with sexual assaults on children under 13 years. He appeared at Slough Magistrates’ Court on 10 March and was remanded in custody to appear at Reading Crown Court
On 24 April McLaren-Tosh pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault on children under 13 years of age, he also pleaded guilty to making indecent images (filming) of children, one charge of making indecent images and one count of voyeurism and also to a charge of possession of indecent images of children.
The charges are in relation to offences committed against three girls aged under 13 in Bracknell between 21 April and 20 August 2014. In addition there are charges of voyeurism and possession of indecent images relating to the period of January 2010 and August 2014.
Today (June 12) he was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment for each of the sexual assaults to be served consecutively, a further 12 months for the charge of making indecent images (filming) to be served concurrently.
A jail term of eight months was given for one charge of indecent images that related to images captured through hidden cameras (to be served consecutively) and four months for a charge of voyeurism that encompasses 130 videos (to be served consecutively). And finally four months’ imprisonment for possessing (downloading) indecent images of children -to be served concurrently. He has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indeterminate period. A sexual harm prevention order has been made against him for eight years.
Mclaren-Tosh was arrested on 12 May 2014 on suspicion of possessing indecent images. A subsequent examination of his computer revealed assaults against children that were filmed. Also on the computer were voyeurism videos of people, who were unaware they were being filmed, plus several indecent images of children.
He was arrested on 23 February 2015 for these assaults and the voyeurism offences. A further warrant was executed at his home on the same day.
A laptop was seized from him on this date and he was interviewed and bailed. An examination of this laptop identified a further sexual assault that was filmed. Further examination of exhibits seized from the warrant identified more voyeurism videos and indecent photographs.
The charges are in relation to offences committed against three girls aged under 13 in Bracknell between 21 April and 20 August 2014. McLaren-Tosh filmed the assaults on his victims.
Investigating officer Det Sgt Jon Groenen said: “Firstly I would like to praise the bravery of the victims and their families for fully supporting this complex investigation. I would like to thank them on behalf of Thames Valley Police for their patience through a very difficult time.
“I am pleased for them that justice has been done.
“I hope the total sentence will give other victims of sexual offences the confidence to come forward and speak to police.’’
McLaren-Tosh pleaded guilty at an early stage which has meant that the victims and their families have not had to attend a trial at court. This has led to the Judge giving him maximum credit which has reduced his sentence by a third.
Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said:
“This case involved the sexual abuse of three girls by a man, who is now 49-years-old in Bracknell between April and August 2014, and voyeurism and making/possession of indecent images, which occurred between January 2010 and August 2014.The young age (under 13) and vulnerability of the victims at the time greatly increases the seriousness of the offences.
“It is only due to the great courage of the victims and their parents that the despicable behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to them for their strength and tenacity in coming forward.
“McLaren-Tosh had denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct during four police interviews, but on Friday, 08 May 2015, at Reading Crown Court, he offered pleas to nine of 13 counts namely three counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 years of age, one count of voyeurism involving a number of victims and five counts of making/possession of indecent images of children. After consultation with the victims, the pleas were accepted by the prosecution team and the remaining counts left to lie on file.
“The conviction and today’s sentence serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward so that the attackers can be brought to justice and others can be saved from the horrific ordeal of abuse. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.
“The emotional impact on the victims and their family of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the conviction and today’s sentence gives some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”