Over a period of time, Dawn Davies (36) sexually abused an 11 year old boy by forcing him to have sex with her. She denied it, but was convicted by a jury of sexual activity with a child under 13.
On 20th October 2017, she was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for this. So far so depressing.
In terms of the sentence itself, it is hard to comment on the length without knowing more about the facts. But looking at the Sentencing Guidelines (p41) it would appear to be a Cat 1A offence, so the most serious of offending.
But one interesting question is why Ms Davies did not receive some form of extended sentence? In one way, this is easy – the Judge presumably determined that she was not ‘dangerous’ in the sense met by the legislation.
If it had been the other way round (so a 36 year old man having sex with an 11 year old girl or by) then he would have had to been made subject to a s236A sentence (see our discussion of this sentence here).
This would have meant that the Judge would have had to impose a sentence of 15 years, plus a 1 year extended licence, meaning that when he was released he would spend an extra year under Probation supervision.
Although that does not sound much, it is actually highly significant as instead of being released half way though the sentence (after 7½ years) like Ms Davies will be, he would only be able to be released on the direction of the Parole Board. He would only be automatically released at the end of the 15 years.
The s236A legislation only applies to sexual abuse where there is penetration by the offender, not to other offences that involve penetration.
Is that an oversight by Parliament, or is that a difference that is valid? Over to you …