A judge who allowed a paedophile from Romford to walk free after his 13-year-old victim was branded “predatory” has been urged to apologise to the girl when he faces her abuser in court.
Judge Nigel Peters QC is being investigated by the judicial watchdog over remarks made during the sentencing of paedophile Neil Wilson, who admitted engaging in sexual activity with the girl.
Wilson, 41, who was handed a suspended eight-month sentence, is to appear before Judge Peters again via video link at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday to deal with “an administrative matter” in relation to his sentence.
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said the judge should take the opportunity to apologise to the young victim.
He said: “Bearing in mind Judge Peters’ outrageous comments were deeply offensive and will have done untold damage to the confidence of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system, I would expect the judge to try and rectify the damage he has done at this apt opportunity.
“This also provides Judge Peters with the perfect opportunity to also apologise to the child victim of this crime.”
A row broke out earlier this week when it emerged prosecuting barrister Robert Colover labelled the young girl “predatory” and “sexually experienced” and Judge Peters said he accounted for the way the girl looked and behaved when he sentenced Wilson.
Mr Colover has been suspended from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), while Judge Peters’ comments are to be investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said the CPS was “absolutely right” to label Mr Colover’s comments “inappropriate”.
Mr Colover, a self-employed barrister, told a hearing at London’s Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday: “The girl is predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced.”
As well as receiving a number of complaints, from both individuals and an organisation, the CPS was confronted by a petition, which now has more than 50,000 signatures, demanding Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer investigate the language used by Mr Colover.
The Office for Judicial Complaints confirmed it had received a number of complaints about the remarks made by Judge Peters during Wilson’s sentencing and they would be considered.
The 41-year-old now faces having his sentence reviewed after Attorney General Dominic Grieve agreed to examine the case.
Police also found images of child abuse and bestiality at Wilson’s home in Romford.
Wilson, now living in York, admitted two counts of making extreme pornographic images and one count of sexual activity with a child.
by Jane Ball