A judge took pity on the paedophile who abused me as a child, so he let him walk free

Custodial sentences for child abuse should be mandatory. Personal bias should not be able to take the full role in sentencing for these sorts of crimes

We live in a culture that has come to accept rape and even child molestation as a backdrop to our existence; a culture that excuses the behaviour of abusers while shifting blame onto the victim. A judge may infer that a victim who had consumed a few drinks prior to their rape had in fact contributed to the assault that had been inflicted upon them. Perversely, as in my case, a judge may alleviate blame from a man who has molested a child because he’d decided to have a few pints down the pub beforehand. I would wager strongly that if my judge was overpowered by a man far larger than him on his way home tonight, and was physically forced to engage in even one of the sexual acts I was as a child, that his attacker would be facing a custodial sentence. The sexual abuse of a young girl however may not warrant the same reaction because it has become a readily accepted narrative.

When personal bias can play a role in the sentencing of such a serious and potentially life-altering crime, justice will not always be served. Judges have shown sympathy towards paedophiles before.

I’ve started a petition calling for a mandatory minimum custodial sentence to be introduced for the sexual assault of a child aged 13 and under.