Paedophile's sentence review

A paedophile who was allowed to walk free after his 13-year-old victim was branded "predatory" is to have his sentence reviewed by the Court of Appeal.

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Paedophile's sentence could be increased

A statement from the Attorney General's Office said:

Having carefully reviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided to refer the sentence of Neil Wilson to the Court of Appeal for review.

The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not the sentence is unduly lenient and whether they should increase it.

Robert 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.

As well as receiving a number of complaints, 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.

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Paedophile's sentence increased for separate charges

Judge Peters has said that the increase to Neil Wilson's sentence is not to do with his activity with his 13-year-old victim, but to separate charges relating to images of child abuse found on his computer.

Speaking to Wilson who appeared via video link the judge said:

I have had the matter listed before me today as part of the sentence, not that part relating to sexual activity with a child, requires correcting.

It was not appreciated by the parties that I could not pass a community order with a supervision requirement for three years to run alongside a suspended sentence on the same indictment or indeed another indictment sentenced on the same occasion.

In amending the sentence I have sought to ensure that all parts of the order will be complied with by the defendant and that any breach will be brought before a court and consideration given to further penalty, including immediate imprisonment.

Paedophile's sentence increased

A paedophile who was given a suspended sentence after his 13-year-old victim was branded "predatory" by a prosecutor has had his sentence increased due to a technicality, but has still walked free from court.

Neil Wilson was given an eight-month suspended sentence after admitting engaging in sexual activity with the girl, as well as separate counts of making indecent images, at Snaresbrook Crown Court last week.

Making no reference to the storm surrounding the case during the 10-minute hearing, the judge altered Wilson's total sentence to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, but kept the sentence for sexual activity with a child the same, at eight months suspended for two years.

Wilson still faces having his sentence reviewed after Attorney General Dominic Grieve agreed to examine the case.

Freed paedophile due to reappear in court

A convicted paedophile who walked free from court after his 13-year-old victim was branded "predatory" by a prosecutor is due back before a court today.

Neil Wilson, 41, received a suspended eight-month sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court last Monday after he admitted engaging in sexual activity with the girl.

Prosecutor Robert Colover's labelling of the young victim as "predatory" and "sexually experienced" caused outrage and led to his suspension from prosecuting sexual offence cases pending a review by the Crown Prosecution Service

Judge Nigel Peters QC is also being investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints over some of his comments.

Wilson will appear in court via videolink to deal with "an administrative matter" in relation to his sentence and which could be reviewed after Attorney General Dominic Grieve agreed to examine the case.

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Paedophile prosecutor reported to Bar Standards Board

The Shadow Attorney General has written to the Chair of the Bar Standards Board to request an investigation to determine whether Robert Colover may have violated the Bar Standards Board’s code of conduct.

Labour MP Emily Thornberry, who worked as a human rights barrister before she was elected, wrote:

I am writing to express my concern that barrister Robert Colover may have violated the Bar Standards Board’s code of conduct when representing the Crown in the sentencing of Neil Wilson for sexual activity with a child on Monday 5th August 2013 at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The Crown Prosecution Service has acknowledged that the language was “inappropriate”.

I would go further than that and suggest that it has brought the profession into disrepute and could deter vulnerable victims from coming forward in future.

CPS review is 'victory in fight against victim blaming'

Reacting to the CPS investigation in to Robert Colover QC, Jo, who started an online petition called on the organisation to take action, said:

This is incredible news.

I am grateful that Keir Starmer has listened to us, and thankful for the people who signed and the media who have covered this so sensitively today.

This has been a real victory in the fight against victim blaming which results in so many sexual abuse cases going unreported and unpunished.

I hope it's the start of a real step change in how the legal establishment deals with these kinds of cases. Now I hope that the CPS agrees to meet with victims' groups so we can work together to stop this happening again.

Police 'did not and would not call victim a predator'

The Metropolitan Police has said that the language used by both the prosecutor and a judge in the case of Neil Wilson was not used by its officers:

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is aware of reports in the media surrounding terminology used by the prosecution barrister in the case of Neil Wilson.

This is not terminology the MPS would use to describe a victim in such a case, and was not used by the officer who provided testimony at this case.

There is no use of the described terminology in relation to the victim in the case summary.

– Metropolitan Police
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