offences

All posts tagged offences

Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse images

Published June 2, 2013 by misty534

484794_422204404554031_395387765_n

 

A Scottish children’s charity has called for a review of how the justice system deals with people convicted of viewing online images of children being sexually abused.

Children 1st is writing to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill as part of its demand for a consistent approach to the prosecution and sentencing of such offences across the country.

The charity is also calling for police and the courts to use the full range of powers available to them in cases involving sexual abuse images.

The demand is part of the charity’s ongoing See.Hear.Speak.Act campaign on sexual abuse, and comes in the wake of the recent conviction of Mark Bridger for the murder of five-year-old April Jones in Wales last year.

Bridger had viewed images of children being sexually assaulted on his computer. In a separate case earlier this year, the Old Bailey heard how Stuart Hazell, jailed for murdering 12-year-old Tia Sharp, had searched for images of children being sexually abused on the internet.

The cases have prompted UK-wide calls for greater action to tackle the problem.

Kate Higgins, policy manager at Children 1st, said she believes there is currently too much inconsistency in the sentencing of those convicted of viewing child sexual abuse images in Scotland.

She said: “Our overall call is just for there to be a review of how we’re handling these kind of offences to make sure that they are being prosecuted appropriately and that sentencing is consistent.

“That’s a key way of sending a strong message to society about the seriousness of these offences.”

The charity is demanding that the justice system uses the full range of powers already at its disposal to protect children, particularly Risk of Sexual Harm Orders (RSHOs) and Sexual Offence Prevention Orders (SOPOs).

Such measures allow restrictions to be placed on anyone behaving in a way that suggests they may be a risk to children. However, Children 1st said the most recently-available statistics indicate these powers are not being used enough as an effective preventative measure.

Ms Higgins said some legal experts have raised concerns about RSHOs in particular, because of how the legislation surrounding it is drafted.

“Our response is — if that’s the case, that should be part of the review. If we have something that can’t be used because it’s faulty then we have to improve that.

“We’re calling on the Justice Secretary to work out what’s going on. We need to understand why they’re not being used. If it’s because, as lawyers have suggested, that the legislation is badly drafted, then that needs to be addressed.

“If it’s simply because people are not sure how to use them and there’s a need for training and awareness raising then let’s do that.

“There’s no point in the Government having created measures that they want in place to help protect children from sexual harm if the system is not then using them.

“Let’s see where the weaknesses are and see what we can do to improve upon this.”

Ms Higgins also said some sheriffs have claimed to feel hamstrung by the way some cases are brought to court.

She pointed to a case in Inverness where a sheriff reportedly criticised the fact she was only able to impose a maximum sentence of one year on a man who downloaded almost 500 child sex abuse images because the case was prosecuted at summary level.

“We just need to review it all because here are key ways in which we could be doing more to protect children,” said Ms Higgins.

“In both the April Jones and Tia Sharp cases you had men who made the leap from viewing — albeit increasingly shocking — abusive images, to actually committing murder.

“There is clearly a role that the availability of abusive material is having to bear on abusers making that leap.

“We need to making sure we’re using all the powers and measures we can to encourage people not to do it and not to think that it’s acceptable to view abusive images of children.”

 

STV news

Lowestoft: Man’s ten-month jail term for child porn offences

Published March 18, 2013 by misty534

A SUFFOLK man who downloaded more than 1,000 indecent images of children almost a decade after appearing in court for similar offences has been jailed for ten months.

 

David Cattermole was given a three-year community order in 2001 for five child porn offences and did not come to the attention of the police again until June last year when officers went to his home in Lowestoft and seized computer equipment, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The equipment was examined and on it was found, on a scale of one to five with level five being the most serious, 800 indecent images of children at level one, 100 images at level two, 200 images at level three, 262 images (including 100 movies) at level four and ten images at level five.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said the ages of the children ranged from two to three years old to teenagers.

After his arrest Cattermole told officers he was attracted to girls aged 12-14 and had come into possession of pornographic images of younger girls while looking for images of older children.

Cattermole, 39, of London Road South, Lowestoft, admitted four offences of downloading indecent images of children and was jailed for ten months.

He was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order for ten years.

Andrew Thompson, for Cattermole, said there had been a ten-year gap between the latest offences and his client’s offending in 2001.

 

by Jane Hunt

Ipswich: Don’t free my paedophile foster dad to strike again, pleads victim

Published January 28, 2013 by misty534

A paedophile’s victim today said she will do everything in her power to keep her abusive foster father behind bars to protect other children.

Raymond Hawes, formerly of Stratford Road, Ipswich, is now eligible to apply for parole after being originally jailed for 18 years in 2006.

However, the following year Hawes, now 73, had his Ipswich Crown Court sentencing reduced to 10 years on appeal.

Hawes, who also lived in Hogarth Road, Ipswich, was found guilty of three indecent assaults on his foster daughter Lorraine Garwood and an attempted rape.

The attacks took place when Ms Garwood was a child.

Ms Garwood, of Dombey Road, Ipswich, believes Hawes will continue to target children when he eventually comes out of prison.

The 43-year-old, who has waived her right to anonymity, said: ““He’s just a monster – a sexual monster.

“The probation service has told me he’s coming up for parole.

“I’m worried they (the Prison Service) would let him out ,and I’m afraid he will do it all over again to other children.

“I believe there’s no way that man is ever going to stop. He just can’t help himself.

“I’m gutted that I went through all that court case, and all the stuff that was brought up, which destroyed a lot of our family.

“In my opinion if he was released it would mean I when through all that for no reason.”

Ms Garwood said one of her brothers took his life after Hawes’ was jailed. She believes it was over feelings of guilt that he had because he was not able to protect her from being abused when they were children.

“It basically destroyed him,” she said.

“He was so brave. He held my hand all the way through the court case. I blame Ray totally.

“It (the abuse) is always with me, but the day we buried my brother I swore I would be strong for both of us, and do everything I could to keep Ray in prison and other children safe.”

Hawes, who had previous convictions for child sex offences, was also sentenced in 2006 for two indecent assaults on a boy and five counts of buggery on a boy.

All the offences took place between 1962 and 1979.

Sentencing Hawes Judge John Holt said the then 67-year-old was at serious risk of re-offending against children and posed a danger to the public, according to a pre-sentence report.