Guilty: A petition has been launched to review the case.
A petition calling for a review into a sheriff’s decision to grant an absolute discharge to a student who sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl has been launched.
Sheriff Gerard Sinclair found Christopher Daniel, 18, guilty of sexually assaulting the schoolgirl on numerous occasions when she was aged between six and eight and he was aged between 15 and 17.
However, the “wholly exceptional” sentence means the teenage dental student does not have a criminal record and was not put on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
Following a series of STV News reports, the Judicial Office for Scotland published a statement on Thursday detailing the sheriff’s reasons.
It said: “As to the circumstances of the offence, the sheriff considered that the actions, occurring on more than one occasion could not be classed as spontaneous.
“However, there had been no attempt to escalate the nature of the offending.
“In light of the evidence as to the immaturity of the accused, and the nature of the discussion during which he admitted his actions, the sheriff considered the offence to be the result of an entirely inappropriate curiosity of an emotionally naive teenager rather than for the purpose of sexual gratification.
“The accused had appeared both noticeably immature and socially awkward, features confirmed by other evidence in the case.
“It was fortunate that the complainer appeared to have suffered no injury or long-lasting effects.
“Any sentence would mean that he would probably be unable to continue his university course.”
The sheriff also said he took the decision because the family “held no ill will” against Daniel and were not “seeking any form of retribution” following his trial at Dumbarton Sheriff Court in December.
The victim’s mother told STV News she was “gobsmacked” by the sheriff’s reasons.
She added: “We don’t want him locked up, but I have always said he should be put on the Sex Offenders’ Register.
“It should be up to the sheriff to do the right thing, which is to record it as a criminal conviction at the very least.
“I think people will be appalled.”
It emerged on Thursday that Daniel had been forced to contact police after receiving “a number serious threats on social media”.
‘Our system is putting criminals’ careers before our children’s welfare’
A petition has now been launched, urging Scotland’s justice secretary Humza Yousaf to review the case.
The page, created by Marisa Keegan, says: “Our system is putting criminals’ careers before our children’s welfare. What kind of world do we live in that this is seen as an acceptable decision by the court?
“This decision is wrong. This sets an example for other sexual offenders and for sexual assault victims of what can happen if they come forward.
“This is happening here, in our country and in our city. This is real. This is our legal system which is supposed to protect us and our children.”
With many thanks to: STV for the original story
Follow this link to sign the petition: https://www.change.org/p/review-on-the-decision-made-by-court-on-christopher-daniel-despite-being-found-guilty
Kristy Kimber has been jailed after she filmed herself sexually abusing a young child
A paedophile from Tunbridge Wells was caught with a video showing her sexual abuse of a young child when she got her phone repaired.
Kristy Kimber, 26, of York Road, stored videos of the abuse on her phone which she then shared with other people through an instant messaging app.
She appeared before Maidstone Crown Court yesterday (January 31) after admitting to multiple child sex abuse offences.
The court heard how police were made aware of her actions on July 20 last year.
Kimber had arranged for a friend to repair her phone but told him to not look at any videos while laughing.
When the phone was inspected, a video was discovered which showed Kimber abusing a child.
She was arrested shortly afterwards.
Officers then seized a second mobile phone which also contained videos of Kimber forcing a child to engage in sexual activity.
In court, Kimber pleaded guilty to six counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, four counts of taking indecent photographs of a child and three counts of distributing indecent photographs of a child.
She also admitted to engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and sexual assault of a child.
Nine years behind bars
Kimber was sentenced to nine years and four months imprisonment.
She was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.
Kent Police say that although it is “extremely rare” for a woman to be responsible for abhorrent crimes of this sort, the sentence is a result of just how horrific the “systematic sexual abuse” that she forced the child to endure was.
Det Insp Rob Chitham of the Paedophile On Line Investigation Team said: ‘” Kristy Kimber was responsible for the systematic sexual abuse of a very young child.
“She has made a number of videos which clearly show the child in distress and has then gone on to share images of the abuse. Network aims to keep town centre safe.
“It is extremely rare for a woman to be responsible for these type of sexual offences, however the sentence passed by the courts demonstrates just how abhorrent her actions were.
“This conviction is part of a wider ongoing investigation by Kent Police involving other suspects who we are linking to facilitating, inciting or participating in the sexual abuse of children.”
With many thanks to: Kent Live News for the original story
A man who repeatedly sexually assaulted a young girl he was babysitting two decades ago has received a suspended sentence of 20 months.
Stephen Browner, now aged 36, was a teenager when he forced the child to masturbate him on dates between December 1997 and December 1999. She was aged between eight and 10 at the time.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Browner says he has lived with intense feelings of guilt and shame about his actions. Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin said that the attacks left the victim with “a sadness that remains with her” and “desecrated” her idea of love.
Browner of Stoneybatter, Dublin pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual assault at her family home in a south Dublin suburb on dates between December 1997 and December 1999.
Stephen Browner. Pic: Collins
Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, told the court that the complainant wished to lift reporting restrictions in the case so that Browner can be named. Judge Ní Chúlacháin told Browner that the victim was “motivated by a concern to protect others from you”.
She suspended a 20-month prison term on conditions including that he undergo all treatment programmes recommended by the Probation Service, including victim awareness.
The judge accepted the offending was out of character and that Browner was a minor at the time, 14 to 16 years old. She noted a report that states he is at a low risk of re-offending.
She told Browner that he is on the sex offenders register and has “an obligation to let future girlfriends know that you are on the register”.
Judge Ní Chúlacháin also noted that reports before the court say that he is remorseful but she said he has not taken concrete steps to deal with his offending, such as undergoing counselling.
“You will have to live with revulsion you have for yourself,” she said.
In a letter to the court, Browner said he was sorry and said he always knew his past actions would “catch up” with him.
“I’ve never been able to live with myself,” he said.
Detective Garda Paul Lynch told the court that the victim went to gardaí in 2016 and Browner was interviewed the following year. He admitted he had made the child masturbate him around half a dozen times and part of this abuse was linked to “a gun game” he played with the victim.
He told detectives: “I am ashamed, If I could change what went on, I would do”.
The abuse began in the run-up to Christmas 1997 when Browner was babysitting the girl. The victim’s family and Browner’s family were neighbours at the time.
Boy who sexually abused half-sister copied what he saw on pornographic site, court hears
After being put to bed the girl sneaked downstairs with the intention to jump in and frighten Browner. She found him watching something on television and masturbating himself.
He seemed to stop and seemed dumbstruck to see her. She told gardaí she didn’t understand and was naive.
On a following occasion, he was masturbating, and she walked in on him and he continued and asked her did she want to have a go. This behaviour escalated to him moving the girl’s hand to his penis while playing a game with her.
On a later occasion, he was having a shower and made her masturbate him. The court heard that the incidents ended in 1999 when the girl told the family of another boy and he told her to tell her parents.
She went to her mother and this woman went to Browner’s mother and told her about the assaults. Browner’s mother responded by bending over and said “I think I’m going to be sick”, the court heard.
Browner then wrote a letter of apology which was handed into the victim’s family. The letter was ripped up.
In 2016 the victim became very upset and broke down and made a decision to go to gardaí.
Brian Gageby BL, defending, for Browner told the court that his client never touched the child himself or asked her to expose herself. He said he never made any threats or force.
With many thanks to: Breaking News for the original story
Joshua Gould, 23, attempted to rape an 18-month-old baby while filming the abuse and hoarded more than 1,000 indecent images
A man attempted to rape an 18-month-old baby while filming the abuse, a court has heard.
Joshua Gould, 23, from Essex, abused three children and documented the abuse over a number of years.
Gould was caught with 1,300 sick images of children being abused and 52 extreme pornographic images which involved a female dog, on an external hardrive.
He appeared at Basildon Crown Court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to eight charges, reports Essex Live.
As he was jailed for a decade – with another eight years to be served on license – one person exclaimed that “ten years was not enough” for the convicted sex offender, as he was taken down from the dock.
His charges include: one count of attempted to rape a child under the age of 13, four counts of assaulting assault a girl under the age of 13 by touching, two counts of taking indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of a child and one count of possessing pornographic images of intercourse with a dead or alive animal.
Gould was snared by police officers at an address on Seabrooke Rise, Grays, on January 13 last year.
When they stormed in, Gould was arrested and detained in the car park whilst officers searched the property. Essex Police raided the property as the IP address was shown to have been uploading indecent images of children.
Gould admitted in a police interview the possession of the indecent images and was adamant his girlfriend, who he lived with at the time, knew nothing whatsoever of his shameful crimes.
He told officers he was “wrong in the head” and “found pleasure in the images”.
Afterwards, he wrote a letter to the police officer investigating him and explained what they would find on his devices, which included a mobile phone, a laptop and an external hardrive.
Officers soon realised that the indecent material contained live abuse images – where the defendant had filmed himself harming innocent children, one aged just 18 months.
Some of the material was dated as far back as 2012 and showed him exposing himself during a game of ‘hide and seek’.
When he was interviewed again, he refused to answer questions asked by police and instead wrote down a name of the child he had abused. The police needed to identify the toddlers that were harmed by Gould and in doing so, their parents had to identify them through the indecent material.
Police found more than a thousand indecent images on Gould’s devices, including 240 moving and 62 still images of the most serious category A, 200 moving and 73 still images of category B, and 19 moving and 750 still images of category C. Officers also discovered 52 extreme pornographic images involving animals and oral sex or sexual intercourse with an adult female dog.
In some of the sick material, some of the young male and female children being abused were as young as three-months-old.
Gould looked down when he stood at Basildon Crown Court’s dock on Wednesday, January 30. He pleaded guilty to eight charges before him.
Representing him, Mark Savage said: “The defendant had been committing these crimes for a number of years. He is still a young man and he would have been a young teenager when he began offending in this way.
“The actions have carried on to adult life and I don’t underestimate their impact.”
He added: “From the moment he was arrested he did not seek to undermine his culpability, he contacted the police, he wrote to the police, and he wasn’t represented initially. In fact, he explained to the police ‘this is what you will find on my equipment’.
“He cannot explain why he has offended in this way, he made full admissions, and he said he ‘was not right in the head’, he was disgusted by his behaviour.”
The judge replied with, “that’s why he is dangerous in my view” when Gould’s counsel said “he doesn’t know why he has done what he did”.
Mr Savage continued: “He said, very clearly, ‘there is something wrong with my thinking,’ he loathes himself for what he has done.”
The counsel then told the court that the children involved were also ‘too young to be fully aware of what had happened’ to them.
Judge Samantha Leigh, who sentenced Gould, first saw the case when it came before her with only charges relating to the possession of indecent images.
Judge Leigh then believed the images contained live abuse and sent the case to be reviewed and to allow a full and proper investigation.
She told Gould in the dock: “Parents had to identify their children from the photographs, which of course makes it worse in their mind.
“They have now seen a very small part of what you did to their daughters. This has been going on for a number of years, and you said you were an opportunist, but that’s not what I have from some of the footage and from the span of time.”
Gould, who resides at Stevenson Avenue, Tilbury, was sentenced to a total of ten years behind bars with eight years on licence thereafter, for the attempted rape of a child.
He was given three years in prison for three counts of assaulting a girl under the age of 13 by touching. Gould was then handed a three-year sentence for one count of taking indecent photographs or pseudo photographs of a child, and nine months for another count of the same indictment charge.
The defendant was also sentenced to three months in prison for one count of possessing pornographic images of intercourse with a dead or alive animal.
All of his sentences were ordered to run concurrently, at the same time, meaning Gould will spend 10 years in prison, following by eight years on licence. As he pleaded guilty, he will have to spend at least two thirds of the sentence in jail before he can be considered for parole.
Gould was subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO), ordered to pay a victim surcharge and to sign the sex offender register.
After the judge handed the defendant his sentence and asked for him to be taken away, a person from the public gallery shouted in anger.
They said the sentence was ‘not enough’ and hurled curses in the direction of Gould before he was removed by a security officer in the courtroom.
With many thanks to the: Daily Mirror for the original story
A dental student found guilty of sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl will face no punishment after being granted an absolute discharge.
Christopher Daniel, 18, denied carrying out numerous assaults on the girl while he was aged 15 to 17 and she was between six and eight.
He was granted the discharge by Sheriff Gerard Sinclair after being found guilty at Dumbarton sheriff court at the end of a three-day trial. It means that Daniel, from Glasgow, will not be placed on the sex offenders register and the guilty verdict was not recorded as a conviction.
The victim’s family were not allowed to see a report sent by the sheriff to the Crown Office explaining his “wholly exceptional” decision, an STV investigation has found. They believe that Daniel’s middle-class background, strong educational attainment and career prospects helped to convince the sheriff to grant the most lenient possible disposal.
The victim’s mother told STV News: “I have been left to guess the reason why, and when I have voiced my opinion to professionals of my theory they’ve said that is exactly what it will be. How is that justice? How does this teach anything to anybody that’s committing this crime? I’d love to sit down with the sheriff and say: ‘Can you please explain, am I missing something?’ I would get more if I went to a supermarket and stole something.”
After the trial last month the Crown Office informed the family that it intended to contest the decision, but it abandoned the appeal on January 4. The family plan to ask James Wolffe, QC, the lord advocate, for answers and for the sentencing decision to be reviewed.
The mother said: “If it goes there and falls through, we’ve got a massive problem in Scotland. We should all be fearful if it goes to appeal, doesn’t get sorted and [Daniel] doesn’t get put on the sex offenders register.”
The family called police after their daughter told them that Daniel had touched her inappropriately on a number of occasions. She gave a lengthy video interview to officers but her parents were later told that the recording had failed. She gave evidence over two hours during the trial via a video link and was cross-examined for another two hours by Daniel’s lawyer.
Her mother questioned whether the court ordeal, which she said left her daughter distressed, had been worth it. “What good has is done?” she said.
Future employers of Daniel may not be aware of his offences, raising questions about child protection.
“The facts of this case are deeply troubling and deeply affecting,” Liam Kerr, the Scottish Conservative justice spokesman, said. “It’s certainly a surprising sentence. It would help in this case and in many others if there was a greater understanding about why the decisions are taken.”
A Crown Office spokesman said: “Following full and careful consideration to all the facts and circumstances, crown counsel instructed that there should be no appeal against sentence in this case. The reasons for this have been explained to the family. We would be happy to offer the family a meeting to answer any further questions.”
Police Scotland said that the video problem had had no detrimental impact on the victim or the case.
With many thanks to: The Times and The Sunday Times for the original story