CATHY FOX Paul Edward Prestidge 22 March 2016 Court of Appeal

Paul Edward Prestidge 22 March 2016 Court of Appeal

The appeal against sentence was dismissed.

Redaction

Some reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance-  normally I would think that  I should
not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have
taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their
friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the
gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims
details, there may also be “assault redacted” across most of the
spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly
redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also
redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but
should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers
that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of
the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred,
the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which
newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the
links between people and places and abuse at various times to be
ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading softwware
and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not
be regarded as definitive.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

This particular appeal is not redacted

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

[2016] EWCA Crim 470
No. 2016/00327/A2
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
Tuesday 22 ndMarch 2016
Lord Justice Gross
Regina v Paul Edward Prestidge

Computer Aided Transcription by Wordwave International Ltd trading as
DTI 165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY Telephone No: 020 7404 1400; Fax
No 020 7404 1424 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr B Hilliard (Solicitor Advocate) appeared on behalf of the Appellant
JUDGMENT
(As Approved by the Court)
Tuesday 22nd March 2016
Lord Justice Gross: I shall ask His Honour Judge Kramer QC to give the judgment of the court.
His Honour Judge Kramer QC:
1. On 4th
December 2015 in the Crown Court at Truro the appellant, who is now 36
years old, pleaded guilty to an offence of notification of false
information on 28th May
2010 in purported compliance with the notification requirements,
contrary to section 91(1)(b) of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (count 1).
No evidence was offered on count 2, an allegation of failing to comply
with the notification requirements contrary to section 91(1)(a) of the
Sexual Offences Act 2003, and a verdict of not guilty was recorded. On
18th December 2015 he
was sentenced by His Honour Judge Carr to 18 months’ imprisonment on
count 1. He was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and was
required to comply with the notification requirements for ten years.
2. On 17th
May 2007 in the Crown Court at Plymouth the appellant had been
convicted of two offences of possessing an indecent or pseudo-photograph
of a child, contrary to section 160 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988;
four offences of taking indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of
children, contrary to section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978;
one offence of making an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of
children, contrary to section 1(a) of the Protection of Children Act
1978; and an offence of voyeurism, contrary to section 67(1) of the
Sexual Offences Act 2003. His offending had taken place over a period of
three years and had involved making and retaining child abuse images.
Examples of his offending included a time when at a cub camp the
appellant asked boys to strip off. He would then take pictures of them
dancing. On another occasion he played games in which at least one 9
year old boy was stripped naked. For that offending he was sentenced to a
total of 18 months’ imprisonment, made the subject of a Sexual Offences
Prevention Order; he was required to comply with the notice
requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and he was disqualified
for life from working with children. A Sony laptop computer, which
contained indecent images of young males and other children, and floppy
disks were ordered to be forfeit. Accordingly, in 2010 he was subject to
the notification requirements within the terms of section 80 of the
Sexual Offences Act 2003.
3. On 28th
May 2010 the appellant reported to Newquay Police Station that he
proposed to travel to Spain for a short family holiday with his parents
and brother. He completed a police form stating that his return date was
to be 27th June 2010. That was untrue.
4. Police enquiries
revealed that, in fact, the appellant had travelled with a 17 year old
boy. He had made a one-way booking with a ferry company and did not
return on the date he had specified. Enquiries also revealed that he had
been working as a teacher with children and young people at schools in
Spain. It is said that whilst there he had contact with the Spanish
Police and was informed that the restrictions that applied to him here
did not apply in Spain.
5. However, once he
had been discovered there, he left in February 2014. He went to
Cambodia, where he worked in an international school. In Cambodia it was
discovered that he was a convicted sex offender in this country.
Concerns were expressed by parents and staff as to whether or not the
appellant may have harmed their children.
6. On 17th October 2015 he was arrested at his home in Cambodia. He was deported back to this country, leaving Cambodia on 26th October 2015.
7. The notification requirements were superseded by an interim Sexual Harm Prevention Order made on 17th December 2015.
8. The appellant
appeals against his sentence by leave of the single judge on the ground
that the sentence was manifestly excessive and wrong in principle,
because: (i) the judge disregarded the contact that the appellant had
with the authorities whilst in Spain; (ii) he gave too much weight to
information from the National Crime Agency; and (iii) he failed to give
the appellant credit for his early guilty plea.
9. When sentencing,
His Honour Judge Carr expressly stated that he did not sentence on the
basis that the appellant had committed any contact offences, for there
was no evidence to that effect. But he said that the parents of the
children were concerned about the realisation that they had placed their
trust in someone unworthy of that trust. Moreover, what the appellant
had done was “something more serious than simply a failure to notify for
the purposes of a holiday that overstayed. It was a deliberate attempt
to avoid the notification to allow you to once again work with children
in countries where the checks either took time or did not occur at all”.
10. We agree. In the
circumstances of this case we do not accept the proposition in the
Advice on Appeal that “the false information given by [the appellant]
was relatively innocuous”. The judge was, in our judgment, right to
regard this offence as one crossing the custody threshold. The
sentencing guidelines do not cover offences contrary to section 91 of
the Sexual Offences Act 2003, for which the maximum sentence is five
years’ imprisonment.
11. In this case the
original offences for which the appellant was sentenced in 2007 were
serious offences involving young children, in particular young boys. The
breach in 2010 was deliberate and dishonest. It led to the appellant
flouting the restrictions placed on him, prohibiting him from working
with children, which he proceeded to do over a significant period.
However, the breach took place some three years after the imposition of
the requirements to give notice. This was the first, albeit serious,
breach of the requirements. There was no evidence of any actual unlawful
contact between the appellant and the children in Spain and Cambodia.
12. We have noted that
in his sentencing remarks the judge, unfortunately, made no reference
to any credit that he might have given to the appellant for his guilty
plea, except to note at the outset that he had done so. The preliminary
hearing took place on 24th
November 2015, but the respondents agree that the appellant pleaded
guilty at what was in effect the earliest practicable opportunity.
Assuming full credit to have been given, even though that was not
expressly stated, the sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment imports a
starting point of 27 months.
13. Despite Mr
Hilliard’s valiant submissions, we have concluded that the judge was
entitled to take a serious view of the appellant’s deliberately
dishonest conduct, designed as it was to avoid the notification
provisions, thereby undermining the intended protection that the
provisions are intended to provide. A starting point, after a trial, of
27 months’ imprisonment for the appellant’s criminal conduct was not in
our judgment excessive.
14. Accordingly, the sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment was amply justified. In those circumstances this appeal is dismissed.

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • Other useful sites are One in Four [C]
  • and Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area

Links

[1] Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog http://ift.tt/1NVXDYN

[2] Index of Court Appeals EWCA on this blog http://ift.tt/1nlIMNs

About cathy fox blog

the truth will out,
the truth will shout,
the truth will set us free…

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