A prosecutor who used the word "predatory" to refer to a 13-year-old sex abuse victim has been stopped from working on similar cases. The Office for Judicial Complaints also said it had received complaints about remarks made by Judge Nigel Peters in the case in north London.
Prosecutor Robert Colover is reported to have made the comments when describing the victim of paedophile Neil Wilson - who ultimately walked from court with an eight-month suspended sentence after admitting he had engaged in sexual activity with the girl at his home.
Mr Colover reportedly told a hearing at London's Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday:
The girl is predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced. She appeared to look around 14 or 15 and had the mental age of a 14 or 15 year old despite being younger than that. There was sexual activity but it was not of Mr Wilson's doing, you might say it was forced upon him despite being older and stronger than her.
During his sentencing of Wilson His Honour Judge Peters QC said:
You have come as close to prison as is imaginable. I have taken in to account that even though the girl was 13, the prosecution say she looked and behaved a little bit older. You knew she was not nearly 16 as she said and your plea of guilty recognises that you knew. Allowing her to visit your home is something we have to clamp down on and in normal circumstances that would mean a significant term in prison. On these facts, the girl was predatory and was egging you on. That is no defence when dealing with children but I am prepared to impose a suspension.
The remarks have caused widespread condemnation, with David Cameron called the incident, "inappropriate...We need a criminal justice system which stands up for victims, the victims of crime should always be at the centre of our thinking."
Both of the men are now being investigated, Judge Peters is now being investigated by the Office for Judicial Complaints and Mr Colover's remarks are being looked in to by the CPS.
The Shadow Attorney General has also 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.
Neil Wilson admitted engaging in sexual activity with a child. He was handed a eight-month suspended sentence. Police also found images of child abuse and bestiality at Wilson's home in Romford, Essex.