Underwater camera traps pervert in swimming pool

Queens Park Health & Fitness, Boundary Road, St Helens
Queens Park Health & Fitness, Boundary Road, St Helens

A PERVERT swimmer was caught sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a busy St Helens pool by state-of-the-art underwater cameras.

Fantasist William Kirby, 35, admitted dunking a girl’s head towards his groin before St Helens Magistrates’ Court last week – after high-tech underwater CCTV cameras caught him in the act.

The distressed 17-year-old victim later told detectives how, when she resurfaced, Kirby crudely quipped “same time next week”.

The victim’s mother told the Reporter how the incident had devastated her “beautiful, happy-go-lucky” daughter, who she described as “a petite, young-looking 17”.

And, after hearing how the defendant had first claimed to be a police officer to gain the youngster’s trust, the victim’s grandmother described the defendant as “a sexual predator who lured my granddaughter into a trap”.

Angela Blackmore, prosecuting, told the court how the incident unfolded on the evening of July 6 at the newly-refurbished Queens Park Health and Fitness centre on Boundary Road.

At about 6.20pm, the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, engaged in a conversation with Kirby in the sauna.

But when the teen told him that she needed to build up the strength in her wrists, Kirby suggested that she perform a sex act on him.

He then followed her to the side of the pool and started squirting water at her from a plastic bottle before asking if she could touch the bottom of the pool.

Underwater CCTV footage then showed him forcing the teen’s head towards his groin before lifting his right knee, “as if to guide her”.

Police launched an investigation after the victim confided in her mother that evening.

And the leisure centre’s manager told officers how Kirby, a former gym member, had changed his name several times on their system after claiming that his father was a famous celebrity who was being hounded by the press.

In a police interview, Kirby, of Croppers Hill Court, Prescot Road, initially gave an alternative name – Jordan Scott Michael – and claimed the incident was “a joke”.

The court also heard how the defendant had a previous conviction for indecent assault on his record in 2003, as well as more recent convictions for drug possession and impersonating a police officer.

Steven Polson, defending Kirby, admitted it was a “very unpleasant and nasty incident” but claimed that the case could still be dealt with by Magistrates.

However, Magistrates determined that they had insufficient sentencing powers and ordered the case to be committed to Liverpool Crown Court for sentencing next month.

Extending Kirby’s conditional bail, they also ordered him to sign the sex offenders register.