Jeffrey Goodwyn – Cardiff
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A serious risk to children… but child rapist is back on the streets after a top judge ruled his sentence ‘unlawful’
An unrepentant and “very dangerous” child rapist is back on the streets after the country’s top judge said it would be “unlawful” to keep him locked up.
Experts say Jeffrey Charles Goodwyn, 48, from Cardiff, is a serious risk to children because of his violent and paedophilic tendencies.
He already had a conviction for raping a nine-year-old when he was sent down again in January 2012 for indecently assaulting a seven-year-old.
The judge considered him “a very dangerous offender indeed” and jailed him indefinitely at Cardiff Crown Court for the two assaults.
But he has now been freed after the country’s top judge realised the open-ended imprisonment for public protection (IPP) sentence passed was “unlawful”.
Such sentences allow the authorities to keep the most dangerous criminals locked up indefinitely until they have proved they are safe.
However, the lord chief justice Lord Thomas said they can only be passed for offences which happened after April 2005, when Goodwyn’s occurred a year or more earlier.
“This applicant remains a very dangerous man,” said Lord Thomas.
“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 continued: “Unhappily, despite the danger to the public which this applicant clearly represents, we are in no doubt that… the IPP was unlawful.”
Goodwyn’s sentence would have been quashed a fortnight ago, but Lord Thomas delayed his decision to make sure parole arrangements were in place to protect the public.
That included arranging for hostel accommodation, but South Wales Police have refused to release a photo of Goodwyn to help the public identify him.
The Court of Appeal heard Goodwyn, of no fixed address, admitted twice assaulting the girl when she was seven or eight by putting his hand down her trousers and rubbing her private parts.
His rape conviction bore “remarkable similarities” to the assaults, said the judge.
In prison since 2012, Goodwyn had made “no progress whatsoever”, his own lawyers accepted.
Refusing transfer to open conditions, the Parole Board described his conduct as “unsatisfactory”. He had threatened staff and been punished for fighting, it said.
Worryingly, he had also refused to discuss his sexual offending, meaning he has not been able to start work to address his behaviour, the panel said.
But Lord Thomas said the legal problems surrounding the IPP sentence meant he had no choice but to quash the term.
He said a sentence including an ‘extended’ licence, to enable Goodwyn to be monitored in the community for longer, was necessary.
“The applicant was someone for whom a period of extended licence was required,’ he continued.
“He was a dangerous offender. An extended licence would provide necessary protection for the public, particularly for children, and assist his rehabilitation.”
Goodwyn’s new sentence comprises a three-year custodial stretch, which he has already served, followed by five additional years on licence.