Sunday, 18 August 2013

Unduly Lenient Sentences, Appeals, and Failures That Seem To Make No Sense.

Back in 2010, Matthew Thane was found guilty of molesting a toddler and a schoolgirl, as well as amassing a library of 766 Indecent Images of Children, some being video clips (read the link above).
At the time, the Judge sentenced him to a three year Supervision Order, a Youth Offending Programme and a residency and Sexual Offenses Prevention Order.
Basically he walked out of court, a free man.
Wish I had known about appealing sentences back then, that is one I definitely would have appealed!
So, fast forward to this year.
From the above article, Daily Mail, 5 July 2013
"A paedophile spared jail for molesting a toddler and a schoolgirl walked free again today despite lying to police about meeting the young sister of a girlfriend.
Matthew Thain, 21, also breached the terms of his suspended sentence by getting in touch with one of his former victims.
Thain, of Camberwell, southeast London, escaped jail in 2010 after a judge ruled intensive supervision would protect other children from the teenage paedophile.
But concerns were raised after he started seeing a woman with a 12-year-old sister.
He had also been in touch with another youngster he was banned from contacting.
Thain admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice and two breaches of a sexual offences prevention order.
Judge Peter Rook QC said: 'This is worrying because it is manipulative behaviour when he thought he was in breach of a court order.
'It's covering up and it's quite hard to argue that it doesn't deserve a custodial sentence.'
He added: 'It seems the breaches do fall into the category where a custodial sentence is appropriate because you were clearly deliberately ignoring a court order and there was a real risk.'
But he agreed he could suspend the sentence to allow Thain to take up a position as an apprentice chef.
The court heard Thain is due back in court tomorrow for posting a Facebook profile under the name 'Dumbo Bray' to try and reel in more victims.

Read the last two line again.

He allowed Matthew Thain to walk from court a free man a second time, so that he could work as an apprentice chef

The court heard Thain is due back in court tomorrow for posting a Facebook profile under the name 'Dumbo Bray' to try and reel in more victims.

You couldn't make this shit up!!

Seriously !!

So, I decided to appeal (as I do, with what I consider to be ULS). The AG agreed to recall the papers etc, so I had hoped that this would be fully reviewed and an appropriate sentence given.


"Thank you for your letter dated the 04 July 2013 in which you expressed dismay at the sentence passed upon Matthew Thain for perverting the course of justice and breach of a sexual offences prevention order.  As you are aware, in certain circumstances, the Law Officers can apply to the Court of Appeal for sentences to be increased on the grounds that they are “unduly lenient”.   
The Law Officers’ power to refer sentences is contained within section 36 Criminal Justice Act 1988 but it is subject to certain restrictions.  The power is only available in respect of sentences imposed for certain offences, which includes perverting the course of justice but not breaching a sexual offences prevention order.  However, where an offence which is not referable is linked to one that is referable then both offences can be considered.   
The power to refer a sentence to the Court of Appeal for consideration as an unduly lenient sentence is not a prosecution right of appeal.  It is a power reserved for the most serious offences in which a sentence falls significantly below the sentence that any judge could reasonably have passed.  Having considered this case very carefully, the Solicitor General decided that it would not be right to refer it to the Court of Appeal as he did not believe they would increase the sentence.  
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to bring this case to the Solicitor General’s attention, I hope this explanation has been of some assistance."

Where is common sense when you need it?

Quite obviously, his original Offenders Treatment Programme did not work.

Quite obviously he still poses a risk.

Quite obviously he should have received a custodial sentence (IMHO)

Quite obviously sentences in the British Isles are more than often a complete joke when it is for paedophile crimes.

Quite obviously, there is little or no deterrence, little or no justice, and little or no "justice being seen to have been done".

Quite obviously, sentences need to be realistic and appropriate, and if they are not, they need to be reviewed.

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