Aqua Vale sex pest jailed for two-and-a-half years

Anthony Crawford
Anthony Crawford

A pervert who sexually assaulted two girls and spied on another at Aqua Vale has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail.

Anthony Crawford, 40, of Blenheim Crescent in Luton, changed into his trunks and spent 10 minutes prowling around looking for girls to prey on.

Anthony Crawford at the pool when he committed the voyeurism offence

Anthony Crawford at the pool when he committed the voyeurism offence

He spotted two girls, aged 15 and 16, enter a cubicle together, rushed to the adjoining room and laid down on the floor.

He then reached under the cubicle wall and sexually assaulted them as they perched on a bench.

Crawford, the director of a firm which employs five people, also spied on a 19 year old while she was changing, at the same Aylesbury swimming pool less than a month later.

Judge Justin Cole described his crimes - which took place on February 7 and April 2 - as ‘disturbing’.

Anthony Crawford at Aqua Vale

Anthony Crawford at Aqua Vale

He was found guilty by majority verdict after a three-day trial last month and he has was sentenced to 30 months in jail today.

Investigating officer, Det Con Lynda Stearman, said: “I would like to thank the victims for their courage in coming forward to report these offences to police, and their bravery in going through the court process.

“It is thanks to them that Crawford is now behind bars.

“I hope that the sentence today will give them a sense of justice being served and enable them to start to move on with their lives.”

Giving evidence in court, Crawford claimed he just ‘pinched’ at the girls’ towels.

But prosecutor Alison Ginn said: “He looks at the girls. You can see his head turn and then he goes like a shot into that cubicle – he knows where to go.

“It doesn’t seem he was there for swimming because he is not wet.

Reliving the attacks, the girls told the jury of their ‘complete shock’ and rushed to the female toilets because they ‘felt safer’ there.

They reported the attack to a woman who said they were ‘quivering’, ‘visibly upset’ and ‘in tears’.

Adrian Foster, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service, said: “It is only due to the great courage of the victims 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.

“The emotional impact - on the victims and their families - of the abhorrent actions of this man is impossible to quantify.

“I hope that the conviction and sentence gives some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time.”