Category Archives: Vulnerable

Sex attack sentence increased by Appeal Court

Stephen John Hayes
Stephen John Hayes

A man from Plymouth who sexually assaulted a “particularly vulnerable” woman at a nightclub has had his non-custodial sentence overturned by leading judges and ordered to prison for three years.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, declared that the 20-month suspended jail sentence imposed in February in the case of Stephen John Hayes, 27, of Hermitage Road, Plymouth, was “unduly lenient”.

Lord Thomas, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London with Mr Justice Saunders and Mr Justice Edis, replaced it with a term of three years’ imprisonment.

The judge said the victim, who has “very poor eyesight”, thought that a man who approached her at the club was a friend of hers, and they danced and kissed.

However, she felt unable to get away from the man and realised it was not the friend she had thought it was. Hayes admitted assaulting her during the encounter.

Lord Thomas said the woman was a “particularly vulnerable victim due to her personal circumstances”. She had described how the attack had a “devastating” impact on her.

Hayes had demonstrated remorse, which was accepted to be genuine, and had taken steps since to turn his life around. It was also accepted that there was no evidence that he had targeted the woman.

Lord Thomas said the court had “no doubt at all” that the suspended sentence imposed at Plymouth Crown Court was unduly lenient and an immediate custodial sentence was “inevitable”.

The judge said Hayes was an offender who would “plainly benefit” from a sex offender treatment programme in prison and said the court would like its remarks to be conveyed to those responsible for the prison service.

At the Crown Court, the sentence imposed on Hayes was suspended for two years, with a requirement that he attend a sex offender course as part of a supervision order.

Clifford: From West End To Wandsworth – “It’s inevitable he’ll face attack”

The celebrity publicist Max Clifford is facing up to two years in jail after becoming the first public figure to be convicted of sexual offences under Scotland Yard’s Operation Yewtree inquiry. Clifford, 71, was convicted of sexually abusing four girls following an eight-week trial at Southwark crown court in London, which heard how the PR… Continue Reading

Offenders with learning disabilities being ignored say inspectors

The needs of many people with learning disabilities are going unnoticed when they are arrested by police, go to court and are sentenced, according to independent inspectors. They have published the report of a joint inspection into people with learning disabilities within the criminal justice system which said their needs should be recognised and addressed.… Continue Reading

HMYOI Wetherby Keppel Unit – High standards of care in well run facility

The Keppel Unit at HMYOI Wetherby was extremely well run and provided a model for other specialist units for young people, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the special unit at the young offender institution in West Yorkshire. HMYOI Wetherby’s Keppel Unit, which opened… Continue Reading

Police Do Not Owe A Duty Of Care To Either Victims Or Witnesses

A former gangster who changed his name has failed in a High Court bid for compensation for “psychiatric damage” after accusing Greater Manchester Police of revealing his new identity to former criminal associates. The man, referred to as PBD, claimed the police’s actions forced him to enter a witness protection scheme in December 2010 that… Continue Reading

Murder Inquiry Launched In Lincoln Prison

A murder investigation has been launched after a 73-year-old prisoner – serving a nine-month sentence for voyeurism – was found dead in his cell in Lincoln. Alan Goode, a serial peeping tom, was jailed in October after he was found lying on a cubicle floor in the women’s toilets of a Leicester shopping centre. An… Continue Reading

Hindley Prison: Inspectors found “overwhelming levels of self-harm and violence”

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick, in a report on Hindley Prison published today (25th April) says: HM Young Offender Institution Hindley is a large establishment just outside Wigan with the capacity to hold 440 boys and young people aged 15 to 18. At the time of this inspection it was only just over… Continue Reading

Freddie Starr rearrested in sex abuse probe

Comedian Freddie Starr has been rearrested over further allegations of sexual offences. The entertainer answered bail today and was arrested for a second time over additional claims. Scotland Yard said that a man in his sixties had been “further arrested on suspicion of sexual offences in connection with further allegations made to Operation Yewtree”. The… Continue Reading

Death In Custody Inquest

Why was she in jail? INQUEST INTO THE DEATH OF MELANIE BESWICK AT HMP SEND TO BEGIN THURSDAY 11 APRIL 2013  Thursday 11 April 2013 at 10am Before HM Coroner for Surrey Richard Travers Sitting at HG Wells Conference Centre, Church Street East, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6HJ  Melanie Beswick was 34 years old when she… Continue Reading

‘Pryce is a Victim Not a Cultprit’ Insists Her Lawyer

Vicky Pryce’s solicitor questioned whether she should have been treated as a victim rather than a defendant as he indicated an appeal was still being considered. Robert Brown also cautioned critics of the “marital coercion” defence unsuccessfully used by Pryce that they could leave victims of domestic abuse defenceless if it was removed. Economist Pryce… Continue Reading