Ray Teret jailed for 25 years for historic sex offences

Ray Teret jailed for 25 years for historic sex offences

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Introduction

I got rebuked a few weeks ago for saying “in the current climate” it was hard to know whether an appeal against sentences for sexual offences would succeed. Maybe I shouldn’t use those words, maybe I should, but I stand by the point that sentencing on sexual offences has gone somewhat askew, with new principles being developed on the hoof.  There are perfectly respectable arguments as to whether this is principled or welcome, indeed, different writers of this blog have different views.

But a further example of this was given on 11th December 2014 when Ray Teret, who would probably be described by a newspaper as a ‘disgraced former BBC DJ’ was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for various sexual offences. We had previously covered this, in brief, when he was convicted.

 

Facts and Sentence

We have the Sentencing Remarks. They are brief, and certainly worth a read. Essentially, Mr Teret groomed the victims (‘In the main you did not have to use force to abuse these girls, as the combination of their naivety and your celebrity was such that they willingly came with you to the various locations where you abused them‘), who were all girls aged between 13 and 15.

We don’t have the exact dates (relevant for the maximum sentences at the time), but the offending appeared to be between the mid-60s and mid-70s. He was convicted “of having sexually abused 11 different girls during this period of time, 6 of whom you raped and 5 of whom were, as I have said, so awed by your celebrity status that they consented to having sexual intercourse with you. Some of those you raped were forcibly penetrated by you“.

We don’t really have any more details than that. For 5 of the indecent assaults he received 12 months, for the other 6, 18 months. These were concurrent, and concurrent with the 25 years he got for the 7 counts of rape.

The Judge said that, had he been convicted of this at the time, he would have got a life sentence, but accepted that given his age (73) and the length of the custodial sentence, he was no longer a risk.

 

Comment

Why 25 years? Here, the brevity of the sentencing remarks we are left somewhat in the dark. The starting point is the current Sentencing Guidelines (starting at page 9). This gives a range of up to 19 years for the most serious cases.

A Judge is perfectly entitled to go above that in a suitable case, but s/he should really explain why this is the case.

It is clear that it is Culpability A. Given the sentence passed, we assume that the Judge put the Harm as Cat 1, although it is not clear why this should necessarily be the case.

It should be remembered that the sentence of 25 years is a ‘global’ sentence, so has to reflect the multiple counts of rape as well as all the indecent assaults. Even then, the sentence seems much higher than what we would expect. We would have expected a sentence in the region of 18 years. It could be said that we didn’t hear the trial and therefore the Judge saw much more than we did. That is absolutely true, and the Judge – Baker J, certainly knows what he is doing, but one of the purposes of the Sentencing Remarks is to give us – the public – a view of what is being done in our name, and why.

We imagine that there will be an appeal but, and I hesitate to say it, in the current climate if I were Mr Teret I would not get my hopes up.

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

31 COMMENTS

  1. It’s difficult to see how these “old men” prison sentences make any sense other than that prison is now purely for the Punitive element. The guy is no risk to anyone. Tagging him and limiting his freedom would have been more than sufficient and a darn sight cheaper. The law see,s to be drifting dangerously closer to notions of biblical punishment with every sentence that passes; or perhaps Sharia law is influencing the nation, with it’s tempting notions of being all about “the victim”.

    Yet at the same moment in time a known real child rapist (victims aged 9 I read) has been released for “legal reasons”. The law seems intent on braying ever louder in case there were any doubt that it is the biggest ass in the room.

  2. Whilst I would never argue that rape is not a serious crime and a violation of the victim, it seems to me that there are other crimes which carry lesser sentences where the victim is caused more obvious, measurable and serious harm. These victims all managed to live for 25 or so years after the crime without even going to the police about it.
    I wonder if we are seeing a bit of an over-swing of the pendulum ?

    • * These victims all managed to live for 25 or so years after the crime without even going to the police about it. *

      In the case of the 1963 victim, they lived for 51 years after the alleged event, and for 14 years after Teret was first convicted of underage sex in 1999 – a fact widely known and certainly on his wikipedia page for years.

      In the case of [edited by admin to remove name of victim] who had evidently been lined up by the Daily Mail for a press story a day after the conviction, she was so badly damaged that by her own account she became a successful night-club owner and member of the millionaire circle of the Manchester yacht Club.

      It all defies common sense, but the courts are instructed to “believe” and so they follow orders.

  3. I guess the fact that Mr Teret has been of good character since at least 1999, was of no little interest to this judge or jury. Unlike in the case of the hack who handled stolen goods and got a suspended sentence.

  4. In July 2005 hundreds of people were killed and thousands more injured on the London Underground and on a London bus. The bombers died too. It was be naive to believe they did not have at least one accomplice, or more, someone responsible for radicalising and instructing them on how to kill and maim.
    Maybe the law will never catch up with them, maybe it will in another 15 years or more. What then? So much time has elapsed. Shall we tag these perpetrators as they are no longer a threat. If the victims, those who survived at the time, have moved on with their lives become successful, millionaires perhaps even motivated by their experience of that fact that someone was determined to harm them or end their lives.
    Do we say hey perp, your victim(s) is so over you, plus you poor murderer you seem elderly and frail now also since that time that you killed scores of people and injured thousands more you have commited no further crime it is clear you have turned over a new leaf.

    We particularly understand and are impressed that you chose to plead not guilty and allowed a costly and traumatic trial to take place to actively demonstrate what a reformed character you are.

    The above scenario would never happen. It is only ever said in rape cases, in particular those involving women aged 12-60 ish, that’s when such discussions take place.

    Rape is a heinous crime. FULL STOP. (Please note there is no if, but or however, qualifying statement which follows that full stop.)

    If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime. If you rape and get caught be prepared to face the consequences when the law catches up with you.

    Yours in sisterhood

    • Liberty Fraternity & other French things

      When you’ve finished babbling, go tell Martin McGuinness and other members of the IRA that you’re coming after them. Idiot. As they say in la belle,

    • “In July 2005 hundreds of people were killed and thousands more injured on the London Underground and on a London bus” . really?
      100s and 1000s ? Sure that wasn’t in an alternative universe?

  5. “If you can’t do the time don’t do the crime. If you rape and get caught be prepared to face the consequences when the law catches up with you”

    Indeed. Or, if you are a footballer, after having done the time, be prepared to have people campaign against your lawful return to employment.

    For the record, 52 were killed in the London bombings. Not “hundreds”. No idea how someone could be so inaccurate regarding such a big and significant event in contemporary history..

  6. A woman has dared to express an opinion which appears to have upset teh menz. Oh dear. Yours in sisterhood.

    • you are entitled to you opinion whether man or woman and criticism of it is gender neutral
      but your fidures are a bizarre exaggeration.

  7. I’m male, the same age as these girls and lived in Sale at the same time as the offences took place. I attended the same discos and the record shop, but no part in the activities. I regard the sentence as unreasonably harsh.

    What seems to me to be missing is a true reflection of the circumstances of the rapes and how enthusiastic these girls were to be involved with Teret. He was the local star and some of these girls put it on a plate for him, never complained at the time, went back for more again and again.

    There was no force, or intimidation involved and they weren’t groomed in the sense of the taxi driver victims. There was a queue of girls wanting to be involved with him. It seems to me that there’s little appreciation of how street-wise some girls are. Underage sex is a crime and he is guilty and a prison sentence is appropriate, but the rest of his life ? 25 years, with release on Licence after 3 years would be more cost effective and still appropriate.

    I wait with enthusiasm to see whether such a sentence is handed to the MPs, military and aristocracy involved in the London peadophile rings suspected of the organised rape of young boys. I doubt very much that justice will be delivered there. A few dead Tories will be disgraced …… perhaps. We’ve already heard of culprits being traded by political parties; MI5 covering up to avoid international incidents. His Lordship, will sentence His Lordship to two years in his garden !

    • I am female. What you describe is called victim blaming and rape apology. Rape is the crime and Ray was sentenced for it. If he didn’t want a jail sentence, he should have kept it zipped, or ensured he had explicit, non-coerced consent. Same if the victim was under the age of 16, a child in other words, then it’s illegal and it’s illegal for a reason. Seeems quite straightforward to me. But there is no accounting for men and their sense of entitlement.

      Yours in sisterhood.

      • @sisterhood
        Not sure rape is the crime in English law at that time if there was no force. He should have probably have been prosecuted for unlawful sexual activity with a minor and subject to the sentences prevailing at that time. If he had cause to believe the person over 16 that would have been a defence. However, as I understand it, he denied having any sex with any of them. He was acquitted on 11 out of 17 rape charges, which speaks of something, given that none had any more objective evidence than the next after all these years. The CPS took a punt. It’s quite obvious that even if they had only got one single guilty verdict then the guy was going to get 25 years anyway. This was all pre-ordained by the system.

        • Rape did not require force at the time. I think that it’s different in parts of the US, which will be based on the old English Common Law, so it may have been at some point, but there was no requirement under the 1956 Act.

          Ironically, there was a limitation period at the time for USI (unlawful sexual intercourse if the girl was aged between 13 and 16), so he couldn’t have been charged with that offence.

          • How troubling that in 2014 on the verge of 2015 that we’re still having to explain to men that absence of force is not absence of rape. Goodness only knows what’s going on out there.

          • @French bird
            But the existence of a law of USI demonstrates that not all underage sex was deemed rape at that time. It’s very different to current law but Teret’s case-hearings had to be based on the laws of the time.

            Where do you stand on the issue of gay underage sex in the sense that back in the 1970’s any male on male sex was underage below 21 but the CPS will not be pursuing any such cases even though those people knowingly broke the law back then.

            This is where some of the inequity of all this historical prosecution lies. Teret will be prosecuted the nth degree because a female was perhaps five months off the age of consent yet a gay man will be completely left alone even though he may have had sex with a male who was five years off the legal age of consent.

            Speaking of your French predilictions, how’a about the fact that in France a fifteen year old girl is legal. Do you think this is an issue or are you simply happy to kow tow to whatever the lawyers tell you?

            Questions are a burden but I’m genuinely interested to see if you have any answers.

  8. No point in replying to L.E.S. or I’ll be accused of “mansplaining” next. Open minded debate will not be tolerated. Argument over. You’re right and always will be. Please insert last word HERE

  9. We can argue about the precise length of the sentence but for so many offences it had to be substantial.

    The chap whom Moor Larkin mentions had to be released because his detention was unlawful. Just like a man acquitted of rape – or man or woman acquitted of murder – has to be released.

    • @Andrew
      He was found Not Guilty of 60% of the rapes he was accused of. That raises certain issues about Quantity overwhelming Quality. It’s a long-mentioned problem of the “Corroboration by Volume” rules of evidence. Teret was declared guilty of 7 of the 18. I remain unclear about many of those 18 were separate victims and how many were multiple offences against the same victim.

      The man might have been released because of “the law” but what about “justice” and “public protection”? He is clearly (from reports) a far more clear and present danger to society than Teret is, who is in fact no danger to society whatsoever.

  10. Firstly to reiterate my point when someone has raped you do not blame the victim or make apologies for rape such as some have indulged in in this post. This tendency is backlash at rape victims, as though it was somehow their fault, is not something that is seen with other crimes. The age of the rapist/criminal at the time he or she gets caught is not the issue. That would be the crime that he committed which led him to jail.
    I have read the abuse doled out to women who speak up on this issue from the midly disrespectful as you can see by the various changes made to my profile name e.g “french bird” to being called an “idiot” to other women who have had to endure threats to rape, kill or main them all expressions of anger because they won’t be silent. I don’t want this point lost I will address your queries in my next post.

    • @Liberte, Egalite, Sororite
      Fair comment. You got my back up because of your apparently supercilious and triumphalist tone, as if celebrating the suffering of someone is some kind of solution to the suffering of another. I appreciate your subsequent replies and will make response thereto. It has also dawned on me that I can copy-paste your proper title rather than having to type it out. I can be a little unimaginative at times.

  11. @Moor Larkin you asked:

    Your question
    But the existence of a law of USI demonstrates that not all underage sex was deemed rape at that time. It’s very different to current law but Teret’s case-hearings had to be based on the laws of the time.

    My response
    At that time the law also did not make it illegal for a man to rape his wife he could do and and it was deemed perfectly okay in the eyes of the law. That does not make what the husband did to his wife any less of a rape, from her perspective as the victim, or from any right minded person’s perspective. It demonstrates that man made law do not always get it right when it come to rape and other sexual offences.

    Your question
    Where do you stand on the issue of gay underage sex in the sense that back in the 1970’s any male on male sex was underage below 21 but the CPS will not be pursuing any such cases even though those people knowingly broke the law back then.

    My response
    I think there was a lot of fear and ignorance around towards homosexuality at that time. Some laws, as far as I know, are retrospective such as that pertaining to war criminals and the rights of adoptive children to know the details of their birth parents even if that wasn’t the law at the time. I presume that similarly to the death penalty abolished in 1965, that even if though that was the law in force, at the time a particular crime was committed, and the case only came to court today that we would not have anyone swinging from the gallows in 2015.

    Your point
    This is where some of the inequity of all this historical prosecution lies. Teret will be prosecuted the nth degree because a female was perhaps five months off the age of consent yet a gay man will be completely left alone even though he may have had sex with a male who was five years off the legal age of consent.

    My response
    Five months off the age of consent… still makes the act illegal. Like going into a supermarket and stealing something because you knew that it was going to thrown out in the bins in two days, two hours time.

    Your question
    Speaking of your French predilictions, how’a about the fact that in France a fifteen year old girl is legal. Do you think this is an issue or are you simply happy to kow tow to whatever the lawyers tell you?

    My response
    I think the french are wrong. If I had my way I would happily hike the age of consent for both boys and girls up to 18. There are far too many predatory men out there, chomping at the bit, waiting to toy with the emotional well being of our children through physical sexual abuse. Sex is not just about the physical act and trying to divorce it from emotional is where the law gets it wrong. Such as trying to decide whether a 12 year old looked like she was 16, but nothing being said about her actual immaturity irrespective of how she looked.

  12. * It demonstrates that man made law do not always get it right when it come to rape and other sexual offences *

    Or woman made, I am quite sure. Laws develop along with societal attitudes. In Muslim nations they have very strict notions about the evils of precocious sex, and seek to protect their “daughters” but I find their solutions quite repugnant, whilst accepting their hearts might be in the right place. What is happening to Teret (and others) is that they are being tried in a somewhat different time to the society in which their alleged offences took place and that implicitly makes their judgement different.

    *gay sex offences*

    You didn’t really answer the question. This point relates to the relationship between the law and “justice”. Somebody is being tried for breaking the law thirty years ago but somebody else will explicitly not be subject to the law. There is an inherent injustice here, which, while it maybe should not stop the law, should at least temper it. Instead the law seems to have become almost rabid in it’s frenzied sentencing especially.

    *five month/five years*

    My point being that a man could easily convince himself a girl will be a 16 year-old when she is 15 and a half, but no man could convince himself a 15 and a half year old boy was 21. So in that sense who was most deliberately flouting the law?

    *16 or 18*

    I too would think 18 might make more sense, at every level. It is predominantly the law in the USA I believe and England has long desrired to become the 51st State. However, it would be an entertainment for British society as to how to implement that. We cannot even drive on the “right” as they do in America.

    The issue with all these different ages though also relates to the relationship between the law and human justice. I find it hard to be morally outraged about a man having sex with someone in England when if he had been in France at the time, he would have been doing nothing wrong. I know that in 2003 the sex laws made the British subject to the law even if their crime occurred in a legal way in another country.

    A bientot.

  13. I watched the Minnow Films contracted programs for BBC TV called ‘The Detectives’, and I have only seen hatchet jobs like this in conjunction with witch trials or the McCarthy era smears. Did Ray Teret have legal representation? This series of 3 shows did not indicate that. Instead I saw an elderly man on the edge of a mental breakdown being hounded by a camera crew even while he was in custody. I have done a thorough Google search for his lawyers and I have only found lurid newspaper accounts calling him a ‘Sex Beast’ and the like. Couple this with the current craze of a nominal Christian Prime Minister telling everyone what is ‘good’ Islam and what is ‘extreme’ Islam with his promotion of the idea to cut loose from the European Court of Human Rights, and I am now wondering whether the UK is on a very slippery slope to rule by mass hysteria. So, does anyone know if Ray Teret had or has a solicitor who knows what he/she is doing to look out for his best interests?

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