PS 15 Apr 2003 Court of Appeal (member of Methodist Church)

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]

It is not clear why PS was not named. The case glosses over “entirely consensual” sex with a 15 year old male prostitute. Councillor and member of Methodist Church in Warwickshire Area. Appeal judges appear lenient.

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 is unredacted 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 1380

No: 200301162/X3

IN THE COURT OF APPEALCRIMINAL DIVISION

Tuesday, 15th April 2003

Lord Justice Clarke

Regina

v.

PS


Computer Aided Transcript of the Stenograph Notes of Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited 190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

MR S BAILEY appeared on behalf of the APPELLANT

JUDGMENT

(As Approved by the Court)

15th April 2003

1.

MR JUSTICE MORISON: On 2nd December 2002 in the Crown Court at Warwick the appellant appeared for sentence and was sentenced in all to 21 months’ imprisonment for offences relating to male children. He was given a nine month sentence for an indecent assault on a 15 year old boy who was a male prostitute who he had met in public toilets.

2. The appellant was a bus driver and was aware that the particular toilets were used as a pick-up place for homosexual activity. The appellant believed the boy to be over the age of consent. After the entirely consensual sexual encounter took place in the appellant’s home the appellant paid the boy his fee. They met again when the appellant discovered the boy was wearing a curfew tag. There was no sexual event on this occasion, but the boy left apparently taking the appellant’s mobile phone.

3. The appellant went to the police. The young man was interviewed and as a result of what they discovered they executed a search warrant of the appellant’s home and seized numerous items, including photographs and videos depicting young children naked and in some cases participating in sexual acts. Such material was also stored on the appellant’s computer.

4. In relation to this aspect the appellant pleaded guilty to 21 charges of making, that is in the technical sense of downloading, indecent photographs of children. A significant number of them depicted penetrative sex between adult males and male children. The computer showed over 4000 images which contravened the legislation. The sentencing judge dealt with this aspect on the basis that the appellant himself had not taken the photographs and had not distributed any of the downloaded images. He described how he used the images to fuel his sexual fantasies.

5. The sentence of 12 months for this offending was consecutive to the nine months for the first offence, making a total of 21 months’ imprisonment in all. The judge also ordered an extended period of licence for three years on the appellant’s release and he expressed the hope that it would be made a condition of that licence that he should attend an appropriate sex offenders programme. The judge probably had well in mind that with a sentence of that length it was not going to be possible for the appellant to complete such a programme whilst in prison. The judge also made a restraining order under section 5(a) of the Sex Offenders Act 1977, requiring the appellant not to engage in any occupation or engagement of any kind which would be likely to bring him into contact with people under the age of 16 years. The judge said that was an indeterminate order.

6. There is much to be said in mitigation, and it has been said, by Mr Bailey who has represented his client with considerable ability in our view. First of all, the appellant’s previous good character. He was co-operative in his attitude with the police. He pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity. In addition, he has contributed to his local community, both as a councillor and through his Methodist Church. Some people have written in and speak highly of him and his contribution to society.

7. Secondly, the appellant is gay. He has attempted not to give way to his desires and act out his fantasies, and uses his computer access to the internet to fuel and satisfy his desires in his own home. He has not “corrupted” any child himself. The boy with whom he had sexual intimacy was experienced and not a first timer. The boy made no complaint and did not co-operate with the police in bringing the prosecution. The sexual encounter was purely consensual, although money was involved. None of the images downloaded from the web were traded or distributed by the appellant. They were kept for his own use.

8. On the other hand, sexual contact with people of 15 is always serious and as the older man it was his job to make sure that the boy was above the age of consent. His dilemma is that he is attracted to youth and it is difficult for him to have lawful sexual experience of the type which arouses his interest.

9. The access to pornography through the internet is a cancer in our society. Indirectly people like the appellant make a market for these pictures and thus encourage the pornographers to exploit the children. It seems clear from the comprehensive report on this appellant, which the sentencing judge had access to, that the appellant has very little understanding of the harm he does by indulging his fantasies.

10. The process of sentencing involves a balance between the interests of the victim, the public interest and the interests of the offender. The balance is not always easy to strike. Looked at purely from the appellant’s point of view, he has lost his good reputation. There are avenues which will now be denied to him. He has never been to prison before and any prison sentence will bear hard on him.

11. From the victim’s point of view the production of child pornography demeans the children concerned and damages them. Their right to grow up as normal decent people and their right to develop their own sexuality has been stolen from them. They need the court’s protection, and, more generally, the public interest suggests that the revulsion of ordinary decent people to offending of this sort must be reflected by what the court does in the sentencing process.

12. At this time we can only interfere with the sentence if we are satisfied that it is manifestly excessive.

13. Counsel has drawn our attention to the numerous points in mitigation to which we have alluded. He invited the Court to take the view that the two offences could be treated effectively as arising out of one occasion, not meriting a consecutive sentence. He says, in any event, 21 months was unduly harsh in the circumstances.

14. It seems to us that we can adopt a merciful approach to the sentences which the appellant deserves. It seems to us that overall a sentence of 15 months’ imprisonment would be appropriate. We are not persuaded that we ought to fiddle with that figure in order to produce a result that secures the appellant’s immediate release, although we recognise that by reducing the sentence to 15 months he will not in fact remain in prison for very many more days. We do that by quashing the sentence in relation to the first offence of nine months and substitute for it a sentence of three months which will be consecutive to the sentence of 12 months passed in relation to the pornographic pictures, such sentence of 12 months being entirely appropriate having regard to the nature of the offending in that respect.

15. We turn, therefore, to the only other matter, namely was the judge entitled to make a restraining order under section 5(a) of the 1977 Act? The court may make an order under that section if it is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in order to protect the public in general, or any particular members of the public, from serious harm from him.

16. The point that is made on this appeal is that the judge did not say that that was his view, namely that he was satisfied that it was necessary to protect the public in general from this appellant. We recognise that it would have been better had the judge said it in terms, but we are quite satisfied that the judge must have been of that view, and that if he were of that view it was an entirely justifiable view to adopt, having regard to the nature of the offending and the activities of this appellant. Therefore, it seems to us, that the judge was entitled to make an order, and entitled to make it until further order, rather than saying that it was an indeterminate order. So we quash the wording of that order and substitute for it an order that he does not engage in any occupation or engagement of any kind which would be likely to bring him into contact with people under the age of 16 years of age until further order.

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...
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3 Responses to PS 15 Apr 2003 Court of Appeal (member of Methodist Church)

  1. brianpead says:

    And I got sentenced to 24 MONTHS in prison for sending my own daughter a letter about police corruption and my 12 year old granddaughter a birthday card and yet NEITHER family member had complained to the Police, NEITHER made a witness statement and NEITHER appeared in Court against me. The card and letter were never received by my family members. They had been sent via my MP’s office (himself a barrister at law). I had, of course, reported child abuse at Lambeth whilst working as a Head teacher. See also James Walker v Lambeth Borough Council. Kind regardsBrian PEAD Sent using Hushmail On ‎21‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 11:18 AM, “cathy fox blog on child abuse” wrote: a:hover { color:red; } a { text-decoration:none; color:#08c; } a.primaryactionlink:link,a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color:#2585B2; color:#fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover,a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color:#11729E!important; color:#fff!important; } WordPress.com cathy fox blog on Child Abuse posted: “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] It is not clear why PS was not named. The case glosses over “entirely consensual” “

  2. 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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