Total sentences of six years and nine months’ imprisonment and six years’ imprisonment imposed on a male and female offender respectively following guilty pleas to child sex offences were lenient, but not unduly lenient. The female offender had sent the male offender images of her and her daughter, aged between two and six, engaging in sexual activity. The offending had been rightly categorised in Category 2A of the relevant guideline and the judge’s approach to sentencing was not flawed.
INDECENT PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHILDREN
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.
The terms of a sexual offences prevention order imposed on an offender who had been sentenced for voyeurism, which included an almost blanket ban on using the internet, were changed where its terms did not conform to the guidance given in R. v Smith (Steven)  EWCA Crim 1772,  1 W.L.R. 1316,  7 WLUK 542 with the result that it was unworkable and disproportionate.
Following the appellant’s retrial for sexual offences, the judge had been correct to impose a special sentence of custody for offenders of particular concern. However, the term imposed, namely a custodial term of 16 years and an extended licence period of one year, contravened the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 Sch.2 para.2(1) because it was “of greater severity” than the 17-year sentence imposed at the original trial. That was because of the release regime applicable to offenders who were subject to a special sentence of custody for offenders of particular concern.
A judge had had insufficient regard to totality when imposing consecutive extended sentences totalling 38 years on a prolific sex offender who had pleaded guilty to committing 137 offences over the course of 10 years. A large number of the offences involved the deliberate targeting of vulnerable children on the internet, persuading them to provide him with naked images of themselves and blackmailing them to provide increasingly graphic and humiliating images of them taking part in degrading acts. An extended sentence of 25 years’ custody, with an extension period of eight years, was substituted for the original sentence.