Monday 23 April 2018

Man who raped toddler walks free because of legal technicality

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

Will Worley

A man who raped a toddler has reportedly avoided prison time because a judge said there would be “no real purpose” in jailing him.

John Mason, 51, of Carmelite Street, Aberdeenshire, was a teenager when he assaulted his victim, who was a little boy at the time.

The offence took place in Liverpool in the early 1980s – prosecutors are unclear of the exact date – and Mason admitted the historic offence of indecent assault under the Criminal Justice Act 1961, the Liverpool Echo reported.

The maximum sentence under the Act for a 14-year-old was just three months and offenders must be tried under the rules of the time the offence was committed.

But the crime would now be classed as oral rape, carrying a much heavier sentence.

The court heard the victim suffered a decade of psychological issues because of the abuse.

But Mason’s defence lawyer said he was “deeply sorry”. He confided the offence in a number of people over the years, but a complaint was only brought in 2015.

Speaking at Liverpool Crown Court, Judge Denis Watson, QC, said: “Although you committed a grave offence which has had a lasting impact, you too are wracked with remorse for what you have done.

“There is no real purpose imposing what would seem to everybody to be a ridiculously short sentence.”

Mason’s sentence would also be reduced because of his admission of guilt.

He was given a three-year community order and must sign on to the sex offenders register for five years, according to the newspaper.

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