Friday, August 24, 2007

The Paedophile & the Judge Who Made a Mockery of British Justice

Sometimes I despair of our judges. Yesterday, Judge Tom Crowther gave a three month community - yes, community rehabilitation order to Michael Porter, a paedophile who had been convicted of 24 - yes, 24 - counts of indecent assualt and gross indecency. The reason? He had undergone "therapy".

This is a man who molested a three year old. This is a man who put his hands down the trousers of a five year old. A seven year old woke up to find Porter on top of him.

Even Porter's own sister was appalled at the leniency of the sentence and wanted him put behind bars so he couldn't reoffend.

Can anyone explain to me the logic of a legal system which allows a paedophile, guilty of 24 offences (and probably many others besides) to escape jail and yet bangs up a pensioner for three months for non payment of council tax?

Before all the bleeding heart liberals start writing things like "you weren't at the court, you don't know all the details", let me save them the effort. I don't have to have been in a court to know that therapy can't cure someone from paedophilia. I don't have to have been in court to be 100% sure that this man will reoffend. And when he does, the Judge who passed this ridiculous sentence ought to resign.

Because he could have prevented it from happening.


Wrinkled Weasel said...

You cannot cure homosexuality, but that didn't stop people with your views sentencing Oscar Wilde to two years hard labour for exactly the same kinds of offenses.

Tell me the difference, please do.

Iain Dale said...

Excuse me? Cure homosexuality? Are you saying I have a disease? Are you equating homosexuality to paedophilia? Oh give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Hang on, you are 100% sure this man will re-offend?

With those 'knowing the future' skills you should work for the security services.

Anonymous said...

Iain, absolutely right as usual.

Wrinkled weasel, moron.

Anonymous said...

Wrinkled weasel - there's a bit of a difference between two consenting adults having sex and someone raping children.

Anonymous said...

you're right, it is a shocking judgement.

to make a wider point, your blog is becoming very moany/victor meldrew-ish.

Iain Dale said...

And your point is? :)

Maybe I'm in that kind of mood!

Anonymous said...

You weren't at the court, you don't know all the details.

AndyR said...

I think that the weasel is saying that paedophilia is an innate sexual preference, but that is really the only thing it has in common with homosexuality, and the comparison was clumsy and inflammatory, to say the least!

But what you wrote does provoke an interesting argument, one that we (society) have not really confronted yet.

If paedophiles are incurable, then they will continue to present a danger to society no matter what their punishment. So are we legally entitled to deprive them of their freedom for the rest of their lives?

Should we distinguish between those who are attracted to babies / children / younger teenagers / older teenagers, and treat them or punish them differently?

At some point we will have to have a national debate about this, because this may be the only way to properly protect our children. But the whole subject is so (understandably) poisonous that I fear nothing will be done for as long as possible.

Colin D said...

In all reasonable sense, there is only two sentences that are appropriate. One the rope, [7.6 feet of it] or life! Any counter arguments at eye wash, and should be treated with contempt. Perhaps the judge has a certain affinity to this tpye/manner of offense.

Vindico said...

Well said Iain. The law is an ass. It stands in the way of justice and ends up hurting those it should help, or at least hur the least. We need proper liberties, not positive 'rights', to improve our justice system.

Anonymous said...

I thought this sentence was a bit iffy...until I saw you have waded in. Where angel's fear to tread, and all that.

I get the same feeling every time Sir Andrew Green starts ranting about immigration. Let them all in!

Anonymous said...

Exactly the same kinds of offences? I'm not gay myself, but I don't equate being gay with molesting 3 year old children - perhaps you could explain, Weasel, how you think they are the same thing. Plus, are you suggesting perverts who molest children shouldn't be punished? It sounds like it.

As for the Judge's sentence - it makes no sense at all, like lots of their judgements these days. No doubt the accused's lawyer (paid for by the public probably) made an eloquent plea for him not be sent to prison, he was a "changed man" etc. etc.

This man committed sexual assaults on children as young as 18 MONTHS and only admitted what he had done when one of his victims (of the few old enough to talk, presumably) threatened to go to the Police.

When did he have this therapy then? After he had been caught, it would seem. Does that sound like repentence - or fear of going to prison? He wouldn't have found prison inmates anything like so forgiving as Judge Crowther - their version of "Community Punishment" tends to be somewhat more robust.

Mountjoy said...

What would the judge have done if these were his kids? Does he even have kids of his own?

The Government needs to impose minimum sentences for such offences; community service is not appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Prison sentences are the only solution. There's is unlikely to be any 'cure' for a repeated offender such as this. It is a terrible 'disease' with many complexities. One common characteristic is that they often cannot help but be subversive. There is no cure. What prison does though is scare the hell out of them. They experience horrendus threats and violence within, and it is this when they are released that causes them to perhaps hestitate 'next time'.

Anonymous said...

well if some of these posts are odd it has just been beaten by having Jimmy Tarbuck a Liverpudlian coedian talking about the Croxteth shooting on SKY News

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I suspected I would get this kind of knee jerk reaction.

Just read what I said.

Wilde was convicted at a time when to be gay was to be exactly the kind of monster you are describing. The public reaction was hysterical. Many would have gladly seen him flogged. In any event, Wilde left prison a broken man.

Oscar Wilde certainly had sexual relationships with under-age boys. He did this in London, North Africa and Southern Italy. He even procured under age boys for others, for example, Andre Gide, during a visit to Biskra. The factual and circumstantial evidence for this is overwhelming. I am not going to get into an argument about this here, but I have fifteen years of hard reading and academic study behind me to back these assertions up.

The tradedy of Wilde is not that he was gay, it was that he was made a scapegoat.

You are doing exactly the same. You are reacting hysterically to a case you know little about, about a subject that enables you to take the moral high ground, about a man whose crimes are not disimilar to those of Oscar Wilde, who is now feted as a great author and a gay icon.

If you are as familiar as I am with the transcripts of the Wilde case, with the primary sources, with the contemporary newspaper articles of the time, you will realise that you are saying the same things, in the same ways, as those who were so quick to condemn Oscar Wilde to a living nightmare.

All I ask is that you think again.

I accuse you of nothing. You stand accused by your own reaction.

(If you had read my Facebook profile entry you will understand that I am quite passionate about this)

Anonymous said...

a few mins later another contributor (American) called him Jimmy Tarmac

surreal and priceless on SKY

Newmania said...

Weasel for god’s sake what century are you living in? Cure ?!..... There is no more connection between homosexuality and paedophilia than between heterosexuality and paedophilia. I am staggered that it is necessary to make such a point and furthermore it is a highly offensive and ill mannered suggestion not only to Iain but to the many other gay men that read his blog
There is nothing but calm balance in Mr. Dales comments. Several people in my office walked into day and said .....
“This is the last straw for me ...if this man is free then I cannot see the whole point of the society we have made “...and that would be the polite bit . The Labour government have allowed the law to drift into a Vicar in the wardrobe, Great Aunt Lucy in a suit , who lost the baby , tawdry dispiriting pointless ...... FARCE

PS The whole question of therapy is irrelevant .When he has been sufficiently punished ... which would be when hell freezes over then we can have a chat about it with the bastard`s balls on the table in front of us

strapworld said...

zuwvdmIain. It shouldn't resign. he should be SACKED!immediately.

As for the first comment it is beneath contempt.

Judges should be elected. End the system where the legal system appoints its own!

Cameron was excellent on Talk Sport just now. Straw is following.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Erm try not to lose it, guys. I attended a prep school where the headmaster regularly fondled boys including me. Anybody who has ever been to one of these places knows it goes on. I just used to shrug and get on with it. The Headmaster died over twenty years ago.

My son joined a boys club and the leader went to jail for over five years for fiddling around. Am I angry? No, I am mildly annoyed about both incidents, that were over thirty years apart. No real harm was done.

When I moved to London, I was regularly pestered for sex by gays.I found that mildly annoying (and on one occasion, scary too).

I just think that some have twisted this into a hideous crime. No. A hideous crime is committing hundreds of soldiers to death and disfigurement.

sockpuppet said...

There is a world of difference between engaging in sexual activity with a consenting adult and with a minor.

WW does have a point, though, in that it does not seem possible to 'cure' sexual preference (and, Iain, you might recall that there are several fundamentalist religious types who *do* equate homosexuality with pederasty and some try to 'cure' it)

so at some point we are going to have to decide whether sexual preference is a condition, and what we do about people who are attracted to minors. If they are born like it, and cannot alter that, then I, for one, feel a certain amount of pity for them (well, up until the moment they rape a child.)

Your blog is uncomfortably close to becoming the Daily Mail, mind.

Anonymous said...

Iain cannot predict the future, but there is a very high re-offending rate in these sorts of cases - so I agree with him.

This reminds me of that recent case where the husband beat up his wife for not ironing his shirt and then put an steaming hot iron on her back. Yet, what did the judge give him? Nothing - community service being too problematic, since he supposedly wouldn't have had time to do it during his hectic £70,000+ job.

Our criminal justice system is a disgrace at times. The thing is, it's often not the law that is to blame but the judges handing out the sentences.

Wrinkled Weasel, there is a difference between raping an innocent child without concent and two consenting adults having sex? Though morally you might think both apprehensible - criminally one is legal and the other most certainly not.

Iain Dale said...

Wrinkled Weasel. Read your posts again. What you are really saying is that all gays are paedophiles whether they acknowledge it or not. Your own experience is clearly colouring your views, which I suppose may not be surprising.

Tony said...

Absolutely right Iain. I have said it before and I will say it again. There are too many people who should not be in prison residing there, and too many people who should be in prison are walking our streets.

Too many of our judges are out of touch with the real world. I am only surprised this pervert was not asked to buy bicycles for the children he abused 24 TIMES to cheer them up.

I think the fact this man has struck 24 times that we know of is clue enough that he cannot control himself and represents a continuing risk, therapy or not.

Sir-C4' said...

The key battleground at the next general election will not be immigration, education, Europe or the NHS. The next general election will be decided on the issue of law and order, or the lack of it at present.

For all his flaws, Cameron's stance on law and order 100% reflects that of the majority of the British public. In 1993 Tony Blair promised in his most famous soundbite to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. He failed on both counts thanks to the culture of political correctness, excessive health and safety regulations, reactionary and ineffectually Gestarpo policies such as ASBOs and the accursed 1998 Human Rights Act.

All of these factors have warped the priorities of the police and the justice system to satisfy Blair and Brown's lust for power and Polly Toynbee's ego.

Only in Britain can a paedophile walk free, yet grandmothers are banged for not paying their council tax. Only in Britain can a 12-year-old boy be hauled before the courts for throwing a cocktail sausage at a pensioner, yet a middle-aged husband be locked up for tackling young burglers his own property. Only in Britain can a white housemate on Big Brother refer to a fellow housemate as a "nigger" and get demonised by the thought police as a 'racist' when it was clear that most Afro-Carribean youngsters also use that term amongest each other, yet Mad immans Abu Usamah are free to praise terrorist attacks and incite murder.

Worst of all, we have to pay for what Cameron aptly termed "ineffectual authoritianism", both with our wallets and our traditional freedoms and liberties.

If Cameron and the Tories made restoring law and order the main focus of their next general election campaign, they'll wipe the floor with Brown and Labour at the ballot box.

The Hitch said...

FFS sake weasel that was a bit nasty bearing in mind that this is a site owned by a gay man as you well know.
Giving you the benefit of the doubt I presume that what you meant to say is that a person cannot help their sexuality and as such cannot be "cured" if it doesnt fit in with the norm.
I agree , which is why I think active paedophiles should be executed or being more liberal incarcerated for life.
They are and will always be a danger to children, so F... them , short walk long drop.

Newmania said...

WW- ...and heterosexuals have been known occassionally to behave inappropriately towards women.Irrelevant.At my school a much liked Latin Master met a chap in the lavatories of the local Park and was seen and prosecuted
He was not "out" and could never have come "out" . It was a sad business.. ... I am delighted that those unenlightened days are behind us .

PS I have lived in London for Twenty years and I have never been pestered for sex by anyone. We must assume you are golden adonis deliciously scented and irresistible to those of hellenic persuasion.

Could be worse .

strapworld said...


you couldn't make it up. Because Jon Gaunt on talk Sport asked Cameron to give his views on his programme..which he did and impressed most listeners judging by the feedback----Jack Straw phoned in and said he wanted to go on the programme...they announced it and waited, and waited and just this moment Jon Gaunt announces that whilst Straw wanted to go on the Ministry of Justice will not allow him.

What a going to the dogs and they are in twos and eights.

Keep it up

Madasafish said...

Any suggestion that you imply that the Criminal Injustice System exists either
a>to protect the public or
b> to punish the guilty.

is of course absolute rubbish.

It exists to keep lawyers emplyed both in the Injustice System and in the House Of Commons where they pass more laws to keep more lawyers busy .

Any suggestion of not passing new laws until current ones ae enforced properly and the public protected is of course a vile calumny as to suggest reality is an insult to lawyers.

Our Criminal Injustice System is the envy of the world's criminals.

Anonymous said...

I was once propositioned by a homsexual scout leader. he showed me some poron photographs (I am talking fifties now). He invited me to his house that night 'to watch some films' so I took all my friends..about thirty in all!! good night watching films. Last time he spoke to any of us!

The Hitch said...

Just read more of your posts weasel
you are not the only one to have been fondled by a pervy school teacher , its happened to me and no doubt others here.
well heres a shock you were at school a place full of children so where are you likely to find paedos? just as lions hang around wildebeeste so child molestors hang around children.
As you know I am fairly conservative, but to equate homosexuality with paedophillia is just as wrong as saying that all heterosexual men fancy little girls. Gay men are attracted to masculinity and to be blunt, cock. Well thats the opinion I have formed anyway .Some paedophiles are homosexual in just the way some are heterosexual.
Sorry to attack you , I normaly enjoy your posts.

jailhouselawyer said...

I too found the judge's decision more than a little odd.

Last week Ch 4 showed a docudrama about a paedophile who underwent treatment, following imprisonment, and the message was in his case it worked. The programme ended, and it emerged that he had not re-offended in 2 years. I would have liked to have seen a longer test period before claiming a success. Because, I too, have my doubts about the effectiveness of such treatment programmes.

Anonymous said...

Weasel - (sorry everyone) you appear to be saying your own son was sexually molested by a Boys Club leader and you were "mildly annoyed"? "Some have twisted this into a hideous crime"?

This man sexually assaulted babies of 18 months and children under 5 years old. (Liked to pick them young so they couldn't tell, it seems) If society doesn't consider that a hideous crime then what is?

Please don't give me any pseudo-highminded claptrap about the World situation. If someone assaulted my child I wouldn't feel high-minded and I would certainly be more than "mildly irritated". I would want the offender to pay for what he did - because if he doesn't, what protection is there for anyone.

Paedophilia is NOT a lifestyle choice, it is a disgusting abhorrant crime against innocent children.

The Hitch said...

I really should read all threads before I post

"regularly pestered for sex by gays" weasel ?
Maybe you were hanging around the wrong places.
Homosexual men tend to be all too aware of the dangers of "pestering" a straight man.
Why should they bother ?
My experience of gay clubs and bars has been that you will see a lot less overt sexuality than you will see in a straight club , amybe thats because I have only ever been in the ones on canal street manchester or old compton street where the crowd is mixed.
The Hitch getting vexed about gay rights
I don't know whats come over me.

The Hitch said...

F... It Im going on the attack
You came on my blog and said that my very good friend who has just finished a 10 year sentence for cocaine dealing should have been shot , you justified that by saying that you work with drug addicts and have seen the damage that they do. Well heres something for you they were all volunteers.
Children dont volunteer to be abused , and as others have said , you were "mildly annoyed" when you son was touched up?
WTF , if anybody did that to a child of mine I would cut his f***** B*** off and happily sit in front of a jury knowing that I would not be going to prison and not care if I did.
You need to sit in front of a mirror and have a good long word with yourself about your values.,

Anonymous said...

Slightly off the main point, but the person who was banged up for three months for non payment of council tax was not a penniless pensioner but someone who had fraudulently evaded payment for about 6 years and owed £9,000. An example of an exemplary sentence to deter others.

The only other sentences I am aware of were token 2-week ones on pensioners who refused to pay their council tax (although they could well afford it) and were quickly released when someone else paid it, against the offenders will.

Sir-C4' said...

Anon 1:24: STFU you socialist liar and pig! If anyone dares question the socialist status quo, you and your fellow socialist turds instantly libel your victims. You and your kind are part of the problem, and if that drippy Cameron follows my advice, you and your lot are going to get a damn hard kicking at the next general election.

Wrinkled Weasel said...


You are in luck. I won't visit your blog again.

If you recall, my exact words were

"One of the people I was helping started on Heroin when she was 12. Her father, who was a dealer gave it to her. She is now 23 and off methadone for 18 months. I asked her if she had any interests, hoping I might be able to point her in the direction of something useful to do. She said, "No, I only know heroin, I have only ever known heroin, my life is only starting now."

Her father committed her, at the age of 12 to a lifetime of health problems, a raft of social problems and a lost childhood. Heroin addiction, at the age of twelve!

If, in one of those wicked hollwood scenarios, the villain had captured your daughter and gave you the choice of 12 years on heroin or a quick fiddle, which, Mr Hitch, would you be forced to choose?

Try and be reasonable. Drugs mess people up for ever and so does sexual abuse. Try not to be such a relativist and try not to justify your friend's antisocial and evil behaviour.

Anonymous said...

This sort of post really really worries me, Iain. And especially from a man who calls himself a libertarian...

Judges *read* and *interpret* the law. They do not *make* it, and nor can [or should] they be held accountable for what the law says.

I am every bit as disgusted by this sentence as you are, but there is something of the John Reid whine about the suggestion that the judge is the one "[making] a mockery of British justice."

If you genuinely believe in a free society with an independent judicial system, then you have to hold the *legislature* responsible for what the law allows a judge to decide, not blame the judge for the decision he makes. A judge, as a sort of public instrument, simply communicates the the will of the legislature. He isn't there to decide "what is right" according to his beliefs, but simply "what the book says."

To suggest that anyone who might hold this view is a "bleeding heart liberal" is - in my case at least - almost as amusing as it is ridiculous. Separation of the judiciary from "accountable government" is arguably the single most important aspect of a libertarian democracy. And I don't think you are even serious when you say you are 100% certain of his re-offence.

I share your disgust at this sentence, Iain. Really, I do. But I know whom to blame - and the judge is not the one.

Wilted rose's question is - must be, if we have a free society at all - entirely irrelevant. It is for politicians to reflect our concerns in the law, and it is they whom we hold to account when the law is shown to offend our concerns.

Anonymous said...

I agree that this sounds like an unduly lenient sentence. That's why the Attorney General's office is considering referring the case to the Court of Appeal to have the sentence reviewed. So while this judge may have got it wrong, the system looked at overall doesn't simply allow that sort of thing. There are some checks and balances.

I think generally politicians, need to resist the urge to over-regulate the courts by imposing minimum sentences, for instance. Conservatives in particular are anxious to avoid excessive regulation in other areas and I think the same applies here.

Let me stress before anyone accuses me of doing so that I am not defending this sentence, but in general judges are much better placed to assess the appropriate sentence for an ofender, having heard about the facts of their case, than is any minister thinking in the abstract and trying to fix rigid one-size rules in advance to fit every case.

If you're not careful, by going down that route you end up with the nonsense of a Home Secretary -a Labour Home Secretary - publicly denouncing a sentence which was only arrived at by applying the inflexible guidelines laid down by his own government - as happened about a year ago in the Craig Sweeney case.

Anonymous said...

Head of Legal...stop being sanctimonious. "judges are better placed" Rubbish! That line is the official put down to public concerns.

These people by and large are out of touch with the common man.


Anonymous said...

This case will certainly go up to the Court of Appeal on an Attorney General's reference and the sentence will undoubtedly be increased. That's what the Court of Appeal is for.

Tony said...

...but in general judges are much better placed to assess the appropriate sentence for an ofender, having heard about the facts of their case, than is any minister thinking in the abstract and trying to fix rigid one-size rules in advance to fit every case.

Maybe a problem rests with those people who make the assessment and suggest to the Judge that the offender is less of a concern than the crimes suggest. But that does not absolve the Judge from facing the hard facts of the offences committed.

The offender is clearly a dangerous sexual predator and no amount of excuses or explanations for his behaviour should cut any ice when it comes to sentencing. Treatment or not, common sense should dictate that someone who could commit these offences deserves a lengthy custodial sentence.

In 2003 Judge Crowther jailed a man for 7 years for raping women he lured to his modelling agency. The Judge said that: the sentence was to punish and deter offenders and to protect women. He spoke of the vulnerability of the victims and told the rapist: "You abused their trust in that situation to indulge your sexual desire."

Michael Porter abused the trust of children in a situation to indulge his sexual desire. How come he walks free?

Anonymous said...

"C4' said...
Anon 1:24: STFU you socialist liar and pig! If anyone dares question the socialist status quo, you and your fellow socialist turds instantly libel your victims. You and your kind are part of the problem, and if that drippy Cameron follows my advice, you and your lot are going to get a damn hard kicking at the next general election.

August 24, 2007 1:41 PM"

What a strange response to a non-political comment.

No wonder no one will give you a job.

Newmania said...

The Attorney General has requested the case papers on freed paedophile Michael Porter so the Government can consider whether to appeal against his non-custodial sentence.Porter, 38, of Okehampton Close, north London,.............

Northern Echo

vanfuertes said...

Paedophiles cannot be cured and should not be released once they have been found guilty. I don't go for the 'let's make them suffer' argument, it's a load of rubbish, but it's just common sense that they will have strong urges to reoffend. Sterilisation or prison, they should be given the option.

Anonymous said...

These people by and large are out of touch with the common man.


not the common man. anything but that.

Read BBC's HYS, then watch Trisha. Then watch the Jeremy Kyle show.

if you still believe in universal suffrage after that I'll be surprised.

Anonymous said...

There have also been a few cases recently of some unduly lenient sentencing in domestic violence cases, as Natalie has blogged:

Maybe we need to lock up less drug addicts and prostitutes and free up more space for violent offenders?!

Jeremy Jacobs said...

"Before all the bleeding heart liberals start writing things like "you weren't at the court, you don't know all the details", let me save them the effort. I don't have to have been in a court to know that therapy can't cure someone from paedophilia".

One probably could with enough hard psycotherapy over a number of years. But I take your point Iain. Thhese peole should be banged up for a long time.

Don't forget there's justice and the law. The two aren't always the same

Sir-C4' said...

Anon 1:24 - In 25-years time, you, Dale and everyone will all be working for me.

Anonymous said...

"the sentence will undoubtedly be increased. That's what the Court of Appeal is for."
Indeed, trumpeter, but it's not what my taxes are for - two overpaid officials doing the job of one. We expect judges to get the obvious right first time round.

Anonymous said...

"C4' said...
Anon 1:24 - In 25-years time, you, Dale and everyone will all be working for me."

Looking after you c/o HMP Broadmoor.

Anonymous said...

All paedophiles should be banged up for life. I've read that chemical castration doesn't work and they continue to have an unhealthy interest in children and babies even after such hormonal treatment. Therefore, they need to be quarantined. They are sick and there is no treatment.

Quoting Oscar Wilde's case is really pushing it, WW. It was a total exception and his pursuit was motivated by Bosey's father, who was a powerful man. Homosexuality has been accepted, sometimes with reluctance, sometimes with insouciance, throughout history in every society. It's a steady (approx) 4 per cent across the races.

I don't believe the Victorians were particularly vicious about gays, except for the scandal of Wilde, and a lot of that was due to Wilde's grandstanding. Otherwise, in Britain, homosexuality has been accepted as just something one is, although there have been much more conservative times than present when gay men couldn't be open about their preference. But people "knew".

But you only have to look at Ivor Novello and Noel Coward, for example, in the age not long after the Oscar Wilde age, and drag queens through the ages, to realise that in the main, humanity accepts homosexuality as part of the human condition. Sometimes society wants discretion, as in the days of Noel Coward, sometimes they don't care, as in Lily Savage and Matthew Parrish and the deeply self-regarding, boring and irritating Andrew Sullivan.

To compare this segment of humanity in which men are attracted to other adult, consenting, men to perverts who prey on children and babies, who cannot have consented, is foolish and cruel.

As there is currently no cure, there must be quarantine.

One does have to wonder about some of these judges, though. I mean, really wonder.

Anonymous said...

It was reported that the judge listed the fact that this paedophile was "a man of faith" among the mitigating factors. What's that about? An atheist would have been punished more severely?

Anonymous said...

Very odd indeed. So this paedo couldn't even keep his covenant with his God, but he's going to keep his word to a judge.