Ok, where next?
Both Tom and Harry have been convicted of indecent assault. Tom pleaded guilty, Harry pleaded not guilty but was found guilty after trial, where the victim endured a cross examination.
Let’s start with Harry. He was sentenced to 12 months prison. He will be released after 6 months and serve the remaining 6 months on licence. He has shown no remorse, nor acknowledged his guilt, so his pre sentence report said he would not be suitable for a sex offenders programme.
Tom received an identical sentence, but received credit for his early guilty plea, and his sentenced was reduced by one third, so he was sentenced to 8 months prison. He will serve 4 months before being released on licence for the remaining 4 months. He has shown remorse and a desire to address his offending behaviour. His pre sentence report therefore recommended that he attend a sex offenders programme to address the issues of his offending. The sentencing judge needs to add an extended licence period of 2 years to accommodate the programme.
Which of these two received the longer term of imprisonment? Which one has to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years, and which one for life?
Hope you’re still with me…
Tom lives in North Yorkshire. In July 2003, he was convicted of downloading indecent images of children and sentenced to 3 months prison. As he was remorseful of his actions, he was recommended to attend a treatment programme to address his offending behaviour. To facilitate this, the judge needed to apply an extended licence of 2 and a half years.
He was required to sign the sex offenders register for 7 years, and this period ended in September 2010.
In 2012, Tom decided to move to Lincolnshire, and all went well. However, Tom has received a bombshell. He has been informed that because he moved to Lincolnshire, he now has to sign the sex offenders register for life, and is forced to re-register.
How can that be?
Continuing the story…
This time we’ll play a bit different. Only Tom features in this story, but he now has a time machine.
Tom is charged with downloading indecent images of children. He is remorseful of his actions and pleads guilty immediately.
Tom is sentenced to 6 months, less one third credit for his early guilty plea, bringing the sentence down to 4 months, a standard reduction. He wants to address his offending behaviour, so is recommended for the treatment programme. The judge needs to add an extended licence of 2 and a half years to facilitate the programme.
Tom gets in his time machine back to when he is arrested….
This time, Tom shows no remorse and refuses to acknowledge any guilt. He pleads not guilty to the charges. After the expense of a trial, he is found guilty. As before, he is sentenced to 6 months prison, but no credit is applied and the full 6 months term remains. Again this is standard procedure. As he refuses to show remorse or any desire to address his offending, he is not recommended for the programme, so no extended licence needs to be added.
Now… one of these situations leads to signing the sex offenders register for 7 years, the other situation leads to having to sign for life. Can you guess correctly?
Now for another curious case…
Tom and Harry are both charged with indecent assault on a child. Tom pleads guilty and Harry pleads not guilty.
Tom, with his guilty plea, is sentenced to 9 months prison, but it is recommended that he attends a treatment programme, so has an extended licence of 2 years added to facilitate this as his prison sentence is not long enough to complete any prison based programme.
Harry, as mentioned, has pleaded not guilty, but is clearly guilty. Still, it’s his right to be tried by his peers. The trial lasts for 2 weeks, and the victim is put through a harrowing cross examination. Two young witnesses are also put through a gruelling experience, along with 5 prosecution experts and of course 12 jury members, and the trial costs in the region of £100,000 in time and expenses. Harry, as expected, is found guilty.
The judge is not too pleased with this charade, and sentences Harry to 28 months prison. However, as he has shown no remorse or acknowledged his offences, his pre-sentence report states that he would be unsuitable for a treatment programme. Therefore no extended licence will be passed.
One of these men will be required to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years, the other one for life. Can you guess correctly?
Ok, here’s another one for you.
Let’s use Tom & Harry as example names again.
Tom is convicted of downloading indecent images of children on 30th March 2004. He is sentenced to 3 months prison and recommended to attend a treatment programme. The judge adds an extended licence period of two and a half years.
Harry is convicted on the same date, 30th March 2004 of downloading indecent images and is passed an identical sentence as Tom – 3 months prison followed by two and a half years licence.
Tom lives in Ipswich and Harry lives in Norwich. One has to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years, the other one for life. Can you tell which is which?
Sex offenders….. an emotive subject but a reality nonetheless. How do we deal with them? Well, how about in a just manner? I want to give you an example of just how askew the sex offenders register is.
Two men are awaiting sentence for a sexual offence. The first man, we’ll call him Tom, is to be sentenced for downloading indecent images of children. The second man, we’ll call him Harry, is to be sentenced for sexually abusing 3 young girls.
Tom is sentenced to 3 months prison, to serve half inside, the rest on licence. His pre-sentence report recommended that he attend a sex offenders programme to address his offending, so the judge passes an extended licence of two and a half years to facilitate the programme in the community. Such a length of time is needed as the programme is over-subscribed and under-funded.
Harry is sentenced to a stronger sentence. He receives 28 months in prison. It is also recommended that he attend a programme, but his length of prison sentence allows him to access the prison based programme.
One of these men is required to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years, the other one has to sign for life. Which one is which? I’ll provide the correct answer soon.
This is just the start of the mess of the sex offenders register. Stay tuned for more.