Sex offender wins sentence case

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Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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A “very dangerous” sex offender has been released after leading judges ruled that the indefinite jail term handed down in his case was “unlawful”.

The Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, Mr Justice Coulson and Mr Justice Gilbart, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, quashed the sentence of “imprisonment for public protection” (IPP) imposed in January 2012 on Jeffrey Charles Goodwyn after he pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault against a child.

Goodwyn, 48, of no fixed address, who has a previous conviction for raping a nine-year-old girl, was instead given an extended sentence of eight years, made up of a custodial element of three years – which he has already served – with an additional five years on licence.

His original sentence of an IPP was imposed at Cardiff Crown Court with a minimum term of 18 months.

Announcing the decision of the appeal court to allow a sentence challenge by Goodwyn, Mr Justice Coulson said that “unhappily, despite the danger to the public which this applicant clearly represents”, the court was in “no doubt” that his barrister was right to say “that the IPP was unlawful”.

The sentence was quashed after arrangements were put in place to protect the public.

Mr Justice Coulson said Goodwyn “remains a very dangerous man”, adding: “Because of his failure to engage with the relevant assistance available to him in prison, he has not begun to address his offending.”

The judges ruled that an extended sentence would provide the necessary protection for the public – particularly children – and stressed that if he failed to attend sex offenders’ programmes and courses it was the court’s view that he should be immediately recalled to prison.

They said that a sentence for public protection was introduced under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which came into force on April 4 2005.

Mr Justice Coulson said: “In the present case, as the indictment makes clear beyond doubt, these two assaults were committed between October 22 2001 and May 1 2004. In other words, there was no power to impose an IPP on this applicant. That sentence must therefore be quashed.”

Referring to the sentencing judge, Mr Justice Coulson said: “There can be no doubt that, although the power to order an IPP was not available to the judge, the power to order an extended sentence was available to him.”

He added: “Furthermore, we are firmly of the view that such a sentence would have been imposed by the sentencing judge if he had been told that an IPP was not available. It is the appropriate sentence in this case.”

Mr Justice Coulson said Goodwyn “was someone for whom a period of extended licence was required”.

He said: “He was a dangerous offender. An extended licence would provide necessary protection for the public, particularly for children, and assist his rehabilitation.”

The appeal court stressed “as strongly as we can” that “one of the unqualified conditions of any licence on which this applicant is released should be that he attend on all the sex offenders’ programmes and courses that he is directed to by the relevant probation or prison services”.

The judge continued: “The applicant has so far failed to attend such courses. If he fails to attend courses that he is directed to attend whilst he is on licence, it is our view that he ought then to be recalled immediately to prison.”

The court had delayed quashing the IPP order until parole arrangements were in place to protect the public, including arranging for hostel accommodation.

Goodwyn’s victim was a girl aged between seven and eight. He pleaded guilty to the two offences of indecent assault at Cardiff Crown Court in December 2011.

He was previously sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the rape. He also had another conviction for indecent assault.

Published: Tuesday 9th December 2014 by The News Editor

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