The decision to allow a paedophile to walk free after his 13-year-old victim was described as a sexual predator has been condemned as ‘plain wrong’.
Neil Wilson, 41, lured the unnamed teenager to his Romford home where he watched her strip out of her school uniform before she performed a sex act on him.
She eventually told a friend about the abuse who in turn informed the police.
During a search of Wilson’s home officers also uncovered a stash of images and videos depicting child abuse and bestiality.
He admitted a string of charges but was handed a suspended sentence at Snaresbrook crown court.
But during his hearing, prosecutor Robert Colover told the judge: ‘The girl is predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced.
‘She appeared to look around 14 or 15 and had the mental age of a 14 or 15 year old despite being younger than that.
‘There was sexual activity but it was not of Mr Wilson’s doing, you might say it was forced upon him despite being older and stronger than her.’
Passing sentence, Judge Nigel Peters said ‘you have come as close to prison as is imaginable’ but noted ‘these facts the girl was predatory and was egging you on’.
Barnardo’s deputy director of strategy Alison Worsley condemned the sentence and description of the victim made in court.
‘Children can never truly consent to their own abuse,’ she said.
‘It is plain wrong to imply in any way that the experiences of sexually exploited children are something they bring on themselves.
‘It is difficult to imagine the torment experienced by the vulnerable victims of crimes such as these.
‘Many turn in on themselves and have feelings of shame and even self-loathing on top of the psychological scars inflicted by the abuser.
‘It takes immense bravery for these young people to relive their ordeal in a court of law and we must not forget that it is the abuser who is guilty and not the victim.’