Sentencing Remarks of HHJ Alistair McCreath
Southwark Crown Court
27th February 2015
1.1 The offences for which I must pass sentence today took place many years ago at a time when, in particular in respect of one of them, the maximum sentence was considerably lower than that which is now available and at a time when the sentencing climate was less severe than it now is.
1.2 There is clear guidance as to how I should approach this task, set out in Annex B to the Sexual Offences Definitive Guideline.
1.4 I must sentence you in accordance with the sentencing regime applicable today, not at the date of the offence. But I am limited to the maximum sentence available at the time of the offence.
1.5 I must assess the seriousness of the offence and must be guided as to that by the current guideline which offers assistance to me in the assessment of harm and culpability, as well as giving broad ranges into which sentences should appropriately fall.
1.6 I must consider the relevance of the passage of time carefully and decide whether that is an aggravating, mitigating or neutral factor. There may be cases where a lack of offending in the meantime, coupled with evidence of positive good character, might offer some mitigation. Yours is not such a case. You have in fact committed offences since those before me today – your convictions of 1998 for downloading indecent images of children. Further I can find no real evidence that you have done anything in the intervening 40 or so years to atone for these crimes. I shall say a little more about this later. I do, however, accept that this is not a case where the sentence falls to be increased by reason of the passage of time, as might be appropriate where, for example, an offender has put his victim in fear of the consequences of reporting what happened to her.
3.2 I have read the impact statements of all three victims. It is clear that in their different ways they were all profoundly affected by your abuse of them. You did all of them real and lasting damage. And you did so for no other reason than to obtain sexual gratification for yourself of a wholly improper kind