Judge Nigel Peters QC and prosecutor Robert Colover
A paedophile who walked free after his 13-year-old victim was branded ‘predatory’ by a prosecutor has had his sentence increased – but still won’t serve a day in prison.
Neil Wilson was handed an eight-month suspended sentence after admitting engaging in sexual activity with the girl, as well as separate counts of making indecent images.
That has now been increased to 12 months for the indecent images offences but because it is still suspended he will not go to prison.
That has prompted a child protection charity to call for him to be behind bars.
Prosecutor Robert Colover’s labelling of the young victim as ‘predatory’ and ‘sexually ‘experienced’ caused outrage.
It led to his suspension from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which labelled the comments ‘inappropriate’.
Judge Nigel Peters QC is also being investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints for remarking that his sentence took into account how the girl looked and behaved.
But he has been criticised for not taking the opportunity to apologise to the victim during the new sentencing hearing at Snaresbrook crown court.
Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said the judge should take the opportunity to apologise to the young victim at the hearing.
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.’
Wilson already faces having his sentence reviewed after attorney general Dominic Grieve agreed to examine the case.
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, said: ‘Giving this sex offender a paltry extra four months suspended sentence on a technicality is neither here nor there.
‘The judge should have given this man the prison sentence he deserved in the first place.’
Prime minister David Cameron has said the CPS was ‘absolutely right’ to label Mr Colover’s comments ‘inappropriate’.