Weston paedophile babysitter facing jail

A man who babysat for a family is facing a lengthy prison sentence after admitting a string of sex attacks on young children.

The offences happened when Alan Potbury, 38, befriended a couple and offered to babysit their three young children, Bristol Crown Court heard.

Potbury, of Weston-super-Mare, took pictures and recorded movies of himself abusing a six-year-old girl.

He has been remanded in custody until he is sentenced on Thursday.

The court heard that two years earlier he had abused another girl, also aged six, whose family he had befriended.

Prosecutor James Ward told the court work colleagues recalled lewd comments he would make about customers.

"Alan was called 'Al the paedo' at work," Mr Ward said.

The prosecutor told the court that in 1993 Potbury had accepted a police caution for indecently assaulting a teenage girl under the age of 16.

"That caution in 1993 was the start of a period in Mr Potbury's life which culminated in these serious offences," Mr Ward said.

In 2001 Potbury began downloading child pornography and by his arrest last year had amassed a collection of nearly 200,000 pictures and movies.

His most serious offending began when he became friends in 2004 with his second victim's family.

Marriage problems

Mr Ward said: "He suggested to them they should go out for the night for a drink but he would stay and babysit the children.

"They thought nothing of this and they took him up on their offer."

The court was told that because of difficulties in the couple's marriage - with the children's father living away from the home - the mother began to rely on Potbury more and more to help look after the children in the summer of 2009.

The abuse came to light in July last year when the girl's mother caught her kissing her younger brother and she said Potbury had shown her how to do it.

When police searched his home in Pelican Close they found his collection of child pornography, which had been downloaded over a nine-year period.

Potbury pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to 35 charges.

These were seven charges of assault by penetration of a child under 13; five counts of sexual assault; 12 counts of taking an indecent photographs or movies and 11 charges of downloading indecent images and movies.

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