We looked last year at who were the oldest criminals in the UK. Learning on 7th November 2014 that a Mr Jack Mount, a 95 year old former teacher, is to stand trial relating to allegations of 32 historic sex offences dating back to 1954 (and spanning until 1979), we dusted that off to see where Mr Mount will stand in the list of oldest defendants (not criminals).
*Update* – we found out on 13th February 2015 that his trial is now due to take place in January 2016 when he will be 96. He is ‘suffering from poor health and Parkinson’s’ which, given his age, presents an obvious risk that the trial may be ineffective.*
There have been people older than Mr Mount arrested and one 100 year old man sentenced for manslaughter (he didn’t go to prison), these have resulted in no action, or a guilty plea.
However, if there is a trial then, we believe, Mr Mount will be the oldest defendant ever to stand trial in England and Wales. If he were to be convicted and sent to prison, then he would be the oldest person sent to prison. He may then become England’s oldest prisoner, but we are not sure about that. It is implicit in this, but we re-iterate, we know nothing about Mr Mount’s case and so are not suggesting that he is in any way guilty or should go to prison – a jury will hear his case next year.
Although the 60 year old gap between offence and trial (and it will be 61 by the time of the trial) is huge, and certainly one of the longest, it is definitely not the longest. a Mr RD was convicted in 2012 of offences going back to 1949 – a gap of 63 years. Mr D was ‘only’ 78 at the time however, and so a long way behind Mr Mount. He got 11 years, and so will be more than a full decade younger than Mr Mount when he gets out.
Mr D appealed his conviction, in part upon the grounds that he could not have a fair trial after such a long period. You can read more about his case (and how his appeal fared) in the Court of Appeal judgment here.