- The 52-year-old sex attacker’s home is opposite his 14-year-old victim
- Ruling forbidding paedophile from living in the property overturned
- The Court of Appeal heard the sex offender would suffer if forced to leave
- Victim’s family say his rights had been put above their daughters
A paedophile has been allowed to keep living opposite his 14-year-old victim because it would cause him hardship to move.
The Court of Appeal has overturned a legal ruling forbidding the convicted sex attacker from living in his home – which he bought from the council with a £75,000 discount – because he may suffer if he’s forced to leave.
Now the victim’s mother has slammed the judge for putting the rights of a convicted sex offender above those of her daughter, who was just 12 when she was sexually assaulted.
The 52-year-old paedophile was convicted last year and handed an eight-month jail term suspended for two years in May after being convicted of stroking the bottom and thigh of the young girl after inviting her round for strawberries and cream.
After his conviction, the sex attacker was ordered to stay out of the street he shares with his victim, and to not have any contact with her.
But Court of Appeal judge Sir Richard Henriques overturned part of the Sexual Offences Prevention Order, forbidding him from living in his house.
The girl and her family are forced to move out of their home in Broadfield, West Sussex, because she cannot stand to be near her attacker, who cannot be named for legal reasons in case it identifies his young victim.
The child’s mother said:’How would it be causing him hardship?
‘He was living with his mum and dad when he was banned from living in this street, so it’s not like he would be left on the streets.
What about my daughter? There has been no thought for her at all.
‘He is the one that’s committed the crime and she’s the one who’s going to end up suffering, because we’re going to have to move.’
Judge Henriques ruled that the man may suffer hardship if he was denied the opportunity to live in his house.
In his report, he said: ‘We question whether the appellant can conceivably have contemplated that one of the consequences of any conviction might be the loss of this long-term, much cherished and highly valued home.
‘The loss of it would indeed, in our judgement, be most disproportionate.’
Adam Pemberton, Assistant Chief Executive for the charity Victim Support said:’Sadly, this family’s experience is not an isolated case.
‘All too often victims of sexual assault tell us they do not feel safe when the person convicted of a crime against them is released.
‘It is critical that crime victims can have their say throughout the criminal justice process. Without their evidence and testimony, criminals would not be put away.’