Child rapist Jeffrey Goodwyn sentence is ‘unlawful’

A child rapist has been released after a judge said it would be “unlawful” to keep him locked up.

Jeffrey Charles Goodwyn, 48, was given an indeterminate sentence in 2012 for indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl eight or more years earlier.

He already had a previous conviction for raping a nine-year-old child.

Mr Justice Coulson said at the Court of Appeal that an open-ended sentence could only be passed for offences after April 2005.

“Despite the danger to the public which this applicant clearly represents, we are in no doubt that… The IPP (imprisonment for public protection) was unlawful,” he said.

The court heard Goodwyn was given an indeterminate sentence at Cardiff Crown Court in 2012 after admitting offences against a seven year old girl and being considered “a very dangerous offender indeed” by the judge.
‘No progress’
Such sentences allow the authorities to keep the most dangerous criminals locked up indefinitely until they have proved they are safe.

But Goodwyn went to the Court of Appeal about the sentence.

At the hearing on Tuesday, the judge heard that while in prison Goodwyn refused to transfer to open conditions and the Parole Board described his conduct as unsatisfactory after he threatened staff and was punished for fighting.

And Goodwyn’s own lawyers said he had made “no progress whatsoever” in prison.

He had also refused to discuss his sexual offending, the court heard.

Mr Justice Coulson said: “This applicant remains a very dangerous man.

“Because of his failure to engage with the relevant assistance available to him in prison, he has not begun to address his offending.”

But he said the legal problems surrounding the IPP sentence meant he had no choice but to quash the term.

He imposed a three-year custodial sentence on Goodwyn, which he has already served, followed by five years on licence.

The judge had held back his decision for a fortnight while Goodwyn’s parole arrangements, including hostel accommodation, were put in place.

Responding to the ruling NSPCC Wales head of service Des Mannion said: “It is extremely frightening that a child rapist described as ‘very dangerous’ and unrepentant has been released back in to the community due to what seems like a legal technicality surrounding the timing of the offence.”

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