Friday, 12 December 2014

R v Teret ~ "Historical" sexual offending

The Judiciary website has published the sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Baker in the case of R v Teret.

"Disc jockey" Ray Teret was well-known in the North West of England during the 1960s and 1970s.   He has been sentenced to a total of 25 years imprisonment.  He will serve half of that in custody and then be released on licence.  He is subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 section 80.  He was convicted of 11 counts of indecent assault and the applicable maximum sentence for each of those offences was 2 years.  Baker J imposed sentences of 18 months imprisonment on each of five of the counts and 12 months imprisonment on each of six counts.  Teret was also convicted of seven counts of rape and he received 25 years imprisonment on each count.  ALL of the sentences will run concurrently - thereby making 25 years in total. 

The sentencing may seem severe
given Teret's present age but the extent and nature of his offending was also particularly serious including 7 convictions for rape for which the applicable maximum sentence was life imprisonment.  As Baker J pointed out, Teret can have no justifiable complaint that most of his remaining life may be served in prison since he had maintained his liberty during the years since the commission of the offences.  [Note: The possibility of compassionate release under the Crime Sentences Act 1997 section 30 remains].

At one point in the sentencing remarks, Baker J referred to the possibility of imposing an extended sentence. This must have referred to an extended sentence under section 226A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (inserted by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 section 124 which came into force on 3rd December 2012).  Such a sentence would not have been available in Teret's case since it appears that there was not a significant risk of further specified offending.

The approach to sentencing historic sexual offences is set out in Annex B to the Sexual Offences Definitive Guideline and the maximum sentences available are set out in Annex C

An excellent discussion of this guideline is by Felicity Gerry (now QC) on the UK Criminal Law Blog 18th December 2013 -  Sentencing Historic Sexual Offences - The new Guidelines.  The same blog contains a discussion of some general points relating to Historic Sexual Abuse Allegations

Whether Teret appeals these sentences to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) remains to be seen.  On this see Criminal Law Blog - Ray Terret sentenced to 25 years for historic sex offences 

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