The jury directions given at the trial of a well-known publicist for historical sexual offences had not been inadequate or unfair, and his conviction for indecent assault was safe.
A judge had been entitled to refuse severance of an indictment, meaning that an offender was tried for historic and recent counts of child sexual offences at the same time. The Criminal Procedure Rules 2015 r.3.21(4)(a) had removed the technical barriers to joinder in appropriate cases: where evidence on one count would be properly admissible on the other as evidence of bad character it was hard to argue that the offender would be prejudiced in his defence by having both counts on the same indictment. In the instant case, the recent counts would have been admissible as bad character evidence at the offender’s trial on the historic counts and vice versa.
A sentence of three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment imposed on an offender for historic offences of buggery and indecent assault on a fellow resident at a children’s home was unduly lenient. The offender satisfied the dangerousness criteria and a sentence of five years and ten months’ imprisonment with a three-year extension period was appropriate.
Concurrent sentences of two years’ imprisonment for historic offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child committed against the offender’s sister when he was aged 14-16 were reduced to concurrent one-year sentences. The offender, now over 70, was gravely ill and nearing the end of his life, and the original sentence was, in justice and in mercy, longer than necessary.
The court upheld an offender’s convictions for indecent assault and attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm committed against his younger brother when they were both under 18. It could not be said that the manner in which the trial was conducted by the offender’s own counsel was so flawed as to render his conviction unsafe.