Church paedophile walks free

An elder in the Jehovah's Witness church who sexually assaulted a baby and a toddler will never be safe on the streets said his Clevedon sister as

An elder in the Jehovah's Witness church who sexually assaulted a baby and a toddler will never be safe on the streets said his Clevedon sister as he walked free from court.Michael Frederick Porter molested 13 victims in North Somerset. The married church elder, who grew up in Portishead, groped boys as they slept in bed or took advantage of tiny children as he babysat them.The 38-year-old, of Friern Barnet, London, was only brought to book after he was reported to the elders of the Jehovah's Witness church in Portishead.Porter then made a full confession to his own church group in London.He admitted three charges of committing an act of gross indecency and 22 charges of indecent assault and was handed a three-year community rehabilitation order and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order stopping him from having unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18 and living or sleeping at an address where there are children under 18, until further order.However his sentence outraged his sister, 40-year-old Tina Hughes, from Churchill Avenue, Clevedon. Following the hearing at Bristol Crown Court she said she was 'absolutely distraught' for all her brother's victims and the fact he 'walked'. "He has gone back to London and left us to pick up the pieces. He hasn't lost anything. He hasn't even lost his wife. He hasn't been affected in any way. He can go away and pretend nothing has happened because he doesn't have to live here."He is who he is, a paedophile. He will never be safe on the streets."Robert Davies, prosecuting, said not all Porter's victims were aware they had been abused, including an 18-month-old baby and a three-year-old boy.He said the sex attacks happened in the 1980s and 1990s. One victim was repeatedly molested as he slept in bed and woke once to find the defendant on top of him.Mr Davies said the last victims Porter interfered with were aged just five and seven.Telling how the paedophile was forced to confess his sins, Mr Davies said one victim reported him to the elders at the Jehovah's Witness church in Portishead where Porter's family were said to be members. "Michael Porter was entirely apologetic for what he had done and said he would speak to his elders. He sent his order a text message to say others had been involved (victims). "He arranged to make a confession to them. He was advised sensibly to go to the police," said Mr Davies. He said the defendant handed himself in to police in Weston-super-Mare last October and confessed. Tabitha Macfarlane, defending, said her client knew he had destroyed and injured people's lives. "Any show of public hatred towards him he understands," she said.She added: "But for his admissions, his incredibly full and frank admissions, the matter would not be before the court today."Sentencing Porter, Judge Thomas Crowther QC said: "This is a case which in my experience is exceptional, in a sense historic and revealed by you in unusual circumstances which I am sure are linked with the faith by which you now run your life. "I'm satisfied, having the advantage of a number of reports as to your early background, that the reasons for your behaving as you did are complex and personal and reveal that you were subject to pressures which make it understandable that you should have acted as you did in this case. "What's important, in terms of sentence, to realise is that you had changed your life before there was any question of these matters being revealed and I'm as satisfied as I can be, whereas in some circumstances punishment by way of imprisonment is inevitable, this is not one of those, and the proper sentence is a community rehabilitation order.


You may also want to watch:


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus