Paul Frederick Bridgewater 24 Jan 2003 Court of Appeal (Salvation Army)

The several appeals posted today are all relevant to the Christian Church. See a list of all of them here at the end of the day – Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

Victim aged 11.

Redaction

Some court reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance –  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims details, there may also be “assault redaction” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading software and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive.  Common mistakes in reprinting here are that quotation marks are sometimes not correct, replaced by odd symbols.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

This appeal has been redacted for assults by cathy fox blog

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

[2003] EWCA Crim 158

No. 2002/02051/Y2

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL CRIMINAL DIVISION

Friday 24 January 2003

Mr Justice Stanley Burnton and

Regina

v.

Paul Frederick Bridgewater


Computer Aided Transcription by Smith Bernal, 190 Fleet Street, London EC4 Telephone 020–7421 4040 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

MR M GREY appeared on behalf of THE APPELLANT

JUDGMENT

(As Approved by the Court)

Friday 24 January 2003

MR JUSTICE STANLEY BURNTON:

His Honour Judge Fawcus will give the judgment of the court.

HIS HONOUR JUDGE FAWCUS:

1. On 26 July 2002, in the Crown Court at Wolverhampton, this appellant was convicted on an eight-count indictment containing two offences of indecent assault on a male, one offence of indecency with a child and five offences of buggery. He was sentenced by His Honour Judge Chapman to five years’ imprisonment on each charge of buggery, to two years’ imprisonment on the indecency with a child and one of the indecent assaults, and 12 months on the other indecent assault, all those sentences to run concurrently. He appeals against those sentences with the leave of the single judge.

2. These charges represented an escalating course of conduct over a period of upwards of four years between the end of 1990 and early 1995. The appellant is now aged 41. He was therefore in his late twenties when this behaviour started. His victim at the beginning of their acquaintance was a 9 year old schoolboy.

3. The appellant was a youth leader in the Salvation Army when he and his family met the victim who soon became friendly with the appellant’s family and became a regular visitor. He stayed at their home overnight and joined them in various activities. The abuse first began when the boy, then aged 11, slept in the bed of the appellant and his wife. The appellant would kiss the boy on the mouth and [assault redacted]. The abuse progressed to the boy [assault redacted] The boy said that this happened on a regular basis when he stayed at the home of the appellant’s family, usually in the living room and usually when the appellant’s wife had gone to bed. The abuse also took place on two holiday trips when he was driven home in the appellant’s car. At the time the appellant was a lorry driver and would take the boy on trips, often stopping in a lorry park and sleeping in the cab. Abuse would also take place on these occasions.

4. The buggery and abuse took place over a five-year period up until the boy was aged about 16. It was not until April 2000 that the boy told his mother what had happened. On 20 July 2000, the appellant was arrested. When interviewed he denied committing any sexual offence.

5. In passing sentence, having recited the background to which we have already referred, the judge said:

“You held a position of authority in the Salvation Army, and because of that his parents trusted you. You won his friendship and love, but then used it to your advantage for your own perverted purposes.”

Pausing there, it is one of the grounds of appeal that the judge failed to take into account that this behaviour was consensual. But it has to be recognised, as indeed the judge did, that the word “consensual” is in the context of an 11 year old boy. The judge went on:

“. there were at least 15 occasions when you buggered him.”

It is clear that there were only five counts, and the judge should only have been sentencing on the five counts rather than the fifteen occasions. There is clear authority on that, but in our judgment that makes no difference to the way the judge, or indeed this court, should approach the appropriate sentence on the facts of this case. He continued:

“I bear in mind you have not been convicted of rape. If you had been, if that had been the allegation, the sentence here would have been nine or ten years.”

He then made the point:

“. he [the boy] was not in a position to resist you physically, and did not want really to resist you. because he liked and enjoyed having your affection.”

6. The grounds of appeal which have been set out succinctly by Mr Grey, and which he has elaborated upon this morning, are the ones to which we have already referred. The other main ground of appeal is the appellant’s good character -not just in the sense that he had not offended before, but there was very positive evidence of good character before the court. As we observed to Mr Grey, unhappily in cases where people in authority who have access to young boys behave in this way, it is very often that they are of good character.

7. This was disgraceful conduct over a long period. The eventual coming to light of it must have caused the most terrible pain and distress not only to the boy’s family, but to the appellant’s own family. We are told by Mr Grey that, notwithstanding what he has done, the appellant’s family are here in court today to support him. Unfortunately this situation very often arises. The people who are punished almost as much, if not more than the transgressor himself, are the family.

8. We have to look at the public interest where this sort of behaviour occurs. The sentence of the court was not out of step with offences of buggery. We were referred to R v Jacks (12.4.2002 [2002] EWCA Crim 102 ) where there are certain similarities: the age of the victim and the age of the appellant in that case were very similar; the appellant in that case was a Roman Catholic priest. But the difference was that the nature of offending in that case was very much less serious, and in particular did not involve the offence of buggery, as Mr Grey has accepted.

9. In all those circumstances we are unable to say that the judge passed a sentence which could be said either to be wrong in principle (and that has not been suggested), or indeed to be manifestly excessive. In those circumstances this appeal is dismissed.

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • One in Four [C]
  • Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]

Links

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About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
This entry was posted in cathy fox blog, Child Abuse, Child sexual abuse, Church, Church abuse, Judges Remarks, West Midlands and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Paul Frederick Bridgewater 24 Jan 2003 Court of Appeal (Salvation Army)

  1. Pingback: An Index and Timeline of Court and Court of Appeal Documents on Cathy Fox Blog | cathy fox blog on child abuse

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