Guildford Spectrum ice-skating coach given three-year sexual offences prevention order for making indecent images of children
An ice skating coach who worked at Guildford Spectrum for more than a decade has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after being caught with child pornography.
Andrew Fyles, 39, of Badger Close, was a self-employed coach at the popular leisure centre’s rink until his arrest on June 26 last year.
He was convicted of six counts of making indecent images of a child when he appeared at South West Surrey Magistrates’ Court in Guildford on July 11.
Fyles, who regularly worked on a one-to-one basis with children of all ages, was given a sexual offences prevention order that requires him to attend meetings regularly until 2016.
He has also been banned from using the internet without screening software and from working or spending time with children unsupervised.
Freedom Leisure, which runs the leisure centre, has been criticised for its approach to complaints made by a parent about Fyles’ actions towards some children he was training.
While the company admits that complaints were made and taken seriously, no disciplinary action was taken against the coach until the original complainants got in touch with the police.
A former member of staff, who asked to remain nameless, said more action should have been taken following the complaints.
“The warning signs were there, yet it seemed nobody took responsibility and nothing happened. This is about protecting children and should be taken seriously. It is very scary to think that people like this could work in these roles,” the source said.
“Although this man has ended up on the sex offenders’ register, it was because people took their own action and contacted the police.
“He had been working closely with children and a lot of people were worried. Something had to be done.”
A Freedom Leisure spokesman said: “We take all customer complaints seriously and act upon them appropriately.
“With regards to this particular issue, we carried out a full internal investigation, including CCTV monitoring.
“Following that internal investigation, there was no evidence to suggest he was acting inappropriately towards either adults or children while coaching ice skating at Spectrum.
“Freedom Leisure co-operated fully with Surrey Police during its investigation, which led to Mr Fyles’ conviction. The conviction was related to online offences and not contact offences.”
The spokesman added: “Andrew Fyles was a self-employed ice skating coach, licensed by the National Ice Skating Association. He worked at the Spectrum from March 2000 until the time of his arrest on June 26 2012.
“Freedom Leisure has a safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults policy. In line with government legislation, all staff who come into direct contact with children are checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service before being offered employment.
“This checking involves details of convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings recorded on police central records, together with any information held locally by police forces that might be relevant to the post applied for.
“In addition, all staff now undertake NSPCC Child Protection Awareness in Sport and Active Leisure training, regardless of whether they directly work with children or not.
“We will continue to treat all allegations seriously and where necessary, involve the police to ensure that all the children, young people and vulnerable adults in our care are safe and looked after.”
by get Surrey