Neil Wilson ('predatory' case) has sentenced increased

Neil Wilson ('predatory' case) has sentenced increased

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The case of Neil Wilson attracted a huge amount of publicity (see here for our coverage) and the sentence was condemned from various quarters (both from the very informed, and the less so).

In light of that, it is perhaps not surprising that the case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney-General (effectively an appeal against sentence by the prosecution).

Well. We found out today that the appeal was allowed – the sentence was increased to two years immediate imprisonment instead of the suspended sentence.

This means that Mr. Wilson will have to attend his local police station where he will be arrested and taken to prison to serve the sentence. He will spend twelve months in prison and then be released to spend a year being supervised by Probation in the community. The other orders made by the Judge will remain in place.

Was this right? Was it just? At the moment, we just don’t know. The Court of Appeal will haw given an oral judgment. This will be typed up and published in a couple of weeks (hopefully, given the public interest in this case, they will be typing it up this afternoon). We will certainly come back to it. Until then, there is some information to be gleaned from the BBC News Report.

Two particular things that I will be looking out for see (1) what is said about double jeopardy (an idea which, sadly, seems to be going out of fashion) and (2) the actual reasons given. I mention (2) because reading the Stuart Hall Attorney-General reference, despite it being lengthy, there was no explanation by the Court of Appeal given for the length of the actual sentence passed.

We do know that the appeal was presided over the the Lord Chief Justice (with Henriques and Blake JJ). I have asked the Attorney-General to publish his skeleton argument (the written submissions to the Court of Appeal) in a redacted form, but we won’t hold our breath.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

13 COMMENTS

  1. When prosecution appeals against acquittal were introduced by the Criminal Justice Act – in cases where the pros. thought the summing-up wrong in law in favour of the Defendant – there were provisions for anonymity of the Defendant and for the acquittal not to be affected. That was right then and it is right now, and it should apply to sentencing references too.

    So, no, justice has not been done.

    • You think it wrong that a convicted sex offender and child rapist is sent to prison instead of being let off with a slap on the wrist. Remember Opemipo Jaji freed with a similar slap on the wrist who then subsequently went on to rape an 11 year old child so brutally that she required surgery for her injuries. That’s what happens when you set predators free they continue to hunt for prey. The world is a safer place (temporarily) with a man like Neil Wilson behind bars.

  2. I think it’s wrong that anyone’s sentence is increased, sisterhood, I think it amounts to double jeopardy and I am dead against it. The principle is more important than the individual. For the same reason I could not rejoice about the conviction of Dobson and Norris.

    Incidentally this man (who is a swine of a high order, let’s be clear about that) was not convicted of rape and the R-word is out of order.

  3. that’s right because this male dominated misogynistic society has decided that a man can have sex with an underage child and it can be called something else except what it is which is rape. Rape culture prevails in the misogyny. And it’s fine to stand on your principles when you’re are never gonna be raped. Double jeopardy or not.

  4. Actually men do get raped.

    And sex with a fourteen-year old whose state of mind was such that if she were sixteen it would have been consent (a convoluted way of putting it, but you know what I mean) while a serious matter – and if this man had got two years when first sentenced it would not be a day too long – is not the same thing as rape.

    But then, sisterhood, we know that if you had your way a man acquitted of rape would be tried again, and again, and again until a jury gave the “right” answer – that’s if you allowed him a trial at all, as to which I am not sure.

  5. Andrew you will never be raped or you do not live under the threat of rape as part of your day to day reality. Men don’t. Yet they pontificate about it as if they are. And yes I know boys get raped too and we know again who is doing the raping 99% of the time.

    In cases like this who is it that gets to decide whether a 14 (13 year old child in this particular case) has the mind of sixteen year old, and sixten is also still a child. Let’s hazard a guess shall we, is this child a child and therefore should have been left alone by sexually predatory men to be a child, or has she had magically morphed into a ‘fuckable’ child in the eyes of this warped male dominated world. How convenient in a society where most rapists are men and the majority of victims are female that it’s men making these judgements for the good of society.
    If the age of consent is 16, then a 40 something man having sex with a child under the age of 16 is a rapist. And yes I don’t need a trial to tell me that. And if the argument is that she consented when someone’s screwed with her mind enough why wouldn’t she.

    However if he manages to lay low for three years he’d get away with it in your world anyway.

  6. Sisterhood: the point I made is that while logically sex with an under-age girl is a form of rape whatever her state of mind – that’s not the law and the difference affects the sentence.

    You will know that any age of consent is arbitrary. Sixteen here; fifteen in France; seventeen in both jurisdictions in Ireland (and much difference it makes!) – whatever the age there will be some whose state of mind is entirely consensual before they get to it and others whose consent after that age is not based on a true understanding – but in the former case there is and in the latter there is not an offence.

    “You don’t need a trial”. Yes you do. If the man denies that there was any intercourse at all there is a triable question. And an allegation to be proved. Beyond reasonable doubt.

    Whatever you may think, I don’t excuse rapists, child-molesters, and similar scum. But I do say that men alleged to be such – like all defendants – are entitled to fair trial and the presumption of innocence. You obviously differ. Please never get accused or suspected of a serious offence.

  7. If you believe that after three years a rape which is not reported should be just forgotten about (is this the same for all crime including murder?) people have more to fear from that than they do from me.

  8. I’m not wedded to three years; but a limit there should be because there comes a point at which such cases are not susceptible to a fair trial. And no, I would not apply it to murder. Sex cases so commonly rely on word against word that they fall into a class of their own.

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