Tag Archives: Sexual Offences Act 2003

Teacher Andrew Pearson jailed for rape of pupil

Andrew Pearson

Photo courtesy of BBC News

Piano teacher Andrew Pearson was sentenced yesterday, 20th August 2013, to an extended sentence of 22 years, combining eighteen years imprisonment and a 4 year extended licence, for the rape and abuse of a pupil.

Pearson, 37, from Bradford, was found guilty of eight offences of rape and six of ‘sexual abuse’ by a jury sitting at Bradford Crown Court. News reports state he was convicted of ‘sexual abuse’ – sexual abuse is not an offence and it is unclear exactly which offences were charged for this element of the offending. It may well be one of the ‘abuse of a position of trust’ offences under Sexual Offences Act 2003 s 16-24.

The facts of the case are sparse, but is had been reported that Pearson started grooming his female victim when she was just eight years old and the abuse continued for four years.

Further reports suggest that the some 74,000 pornographic images and 5,000 videos were found on Pearson’s computers.  Pearson apparently had a fetish for soiled ladies underwear, as discovered by his wife when she found a pair of small pink knickers in his drawer, and pornography on a memory stick.

The Judge is reported to have said: “It was protracted, detailed, repeated abuse on a little girl who could not and did not understand and was ashamed, terrified, afraid to complain, afraid of you.”

Pearson is said to have forced the girl to take her clothes off and watch pornography with him.

Sentencing guidelines for the offences can be found here.  The maximum sentence is one of life imprisonment.  Pearson received an extended sentenceof 22 years, comprising of 18 years custody and 4 years on licence.

This means that the Judge decided that he was ‘dangerous’ within the meaning of the CJA 2003. The test is whether the defendant poses a significant risk of serious harm. On any view these were offences of the utmost seriousness and a finding of dangerousness comes as little surprise.

The aggravating features of the offences are the age of the victim, the length of time over which the offences were committed, as well as the fact that Pearson was in a position of trust.  Given the length of the sentence there may be an appeal; it may be that the assessment of dangerousness is challenged. Without knowing more information about the offences and the offender, it is impossible to assess. However, on the basic facts that have been reported, it seems any appeal may well be unsuccessful.

Man admits sex with goat

Robert Newman, 23, from Wiltshire, has admitted having sex with a goat, contrary to s.69 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, and has subsequently been banned from every farm in the country.

Newman originally denied the offence but changed his plea to guilty and has been bailed pending the preparation of a pre-sentence report. As part of his bail conditions, he had been banned from entering any land where farm animals are kept, as well as a curfew from 7pm to 7am. His next appearance at North West Wiltshire Magistrates’ Court will be on 12th September, where he will be sentenced for the offence.

There are sentencing guidelines for the offence, which state:

Factors to take into consideration:

1. The sentences for public protection must be considered in all cases. They are designed to ensure that sexual offenders are not released into the community if they present a significant risk of serious harm.

2. This replaces the previous offence of ‘buggery’ with an animal, for which the maximum penalty was life imprisonment. The maximum penalty of 2 years’ imprisonment attached to this offence is sufficient to recognise an offender’s predisposition towards unnatural sexual activity.

3. A custodial sentence for an adult for this offence will result in an obligation to comply with notification requirements and this seems to be the most appropriate course of action for a repeat offender. The offence can be charged in addition to existing offences relating to cruelty to animals.

4. A pre-sentence report, which can identify sexually deviant tendencies, will be extremely helpful in determining the most appropriate disposal. It will also help determine whether an offender would benefit from participation in a programme designed to help them address those tendencies.

The offence carries a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment. The basic offence, with no aggravating or mitigating factors, will usually result in a non-custodial sentence, often a community order. Aggravating factors include recording the activity and/or circulating pictures or videos, whereas the offence being committed as a symptom of isolation rather than depravity will be a mitigating factor. Offenders will automatically be subject to notification requirements.

The CPS guidance on the offence can be found here.

The Evening Standard have linked to a “similar but unrelated” case in their article:

Father of three Nicholas Saunders was convicted of having sex with his ex-wife’s dog.

He was caught having intercourse with the four-year-old bull mastiff called Sasha in former wife Kelly Thacker’s bed.

Saunders, of Lechlade, Glos, was placed under supervision and ordered to attend a sex offenders course.

He was placed on the sex offenders register for the next five years.

He was also given a four-year restraining order preventing him from entering his ex-wife’s home without her written permission or by court order.

The specifics of Newman’s offence are unknown and so it’s difficult to predict what sentence he will receive, but we’ll update this post following sentence.