A MAN who repeatedly molested a young boy and distributed indecent images of children over Facebook has walked from court.
George Godbeer stroked the leg of the child, who was aged eight or nine years old, touching his bare skin after putting his hand down his trousers.
And Godbeer, 21, of Yarmouth Close, Toothill, also posted two pictures of boys aged between 10 and 12 engaging in sex acts on social media platforms.
But after Swindon Crown Court heard he was a lonely, immature man with low intelligence and a supportive family he was put on a suspended sentence.
Judge Tim Mousley QC said: “I have read twice now the report of the psychologist Dr Newman which deals very fully with your life and your background and your vulnerabilities and as well as that I have had the benefit of seeing you give evidence at trial.
“I take into account you are someone of good character, your age, your lack or maturity your low intelligence and emotional difficulties.
“Balancing all these factors the best the best I can, I have come to the conclusion to pass a period of imprisonment but to suspend it. I hope that will deter you behaving in this way ever again.”
He imposed a one-year jail term suspended for 18 months with 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.
Godbeer will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order, restricting his liberty, and must register as a sex offender for 10 years. He is also barred from working with children.
Earlier the court heard that the US authorities spotted him uploading the vile images of young boys engaging in sexual activity on to Facebook.
Charley Pattison, defending, said that after his arrest all his electronic devices were seized by the police and nothing else was found.
She said it was unusual for similar cases to relate to just two pictures and said he claimed he was trying to report them when accidentally putting them on Facebook.
And though he place his hand down the victim’s trousers she said he had not made contact with his genitals.
The guidelines for his offending would be at worst a relatively short prison sentence, she said, meaning he would not get help but instead be introduced to some of the worst influences.
She said he had the support of his family and at the moment he cannot even play a video game with his younger brother without his mum being in the room to supervise.
Godbeer had abused the young lad when he went to his house to play computer games with his brother between April 2014 and February last year.
He had also been accused of molesting the lad and three other boys, one aged 10 or 11 and the other two aged 12 or 13, but was cleared of those charges by a jury.
Godbeer told police that while he knows the children, and often played with them, he denied ever touching them improperly.
It was alleged he touched the other boys when he played with them at Bellver Park, Toothill.
He denied a multi-incident count of sexual assault of a child under 13 but was convicted. He admitted two counts of distributing indecent images of children.
An NSPCC spokesperson for South West England said: “Godbeer acted without thinking of the impact on his vulnerable victim and it is right that he has faced the courts. We hope that the treatment he is receiving as part of his sentence lessens any risk he may pose to children.
“His victim showed immense bravery in speaking out and we hope he is receiving support to recover from this ordeal.
“Abuse can ruin childhoods and it is vital children who have been affected get the help they need rather than suffering in silence, as sadly so many do.”
Childline is available on 0800 1111, 24/7, to offer confidential advice.