14/08/2014 12:52 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Outcry As Judge Brands 13-Year-Old Victim Of Paedophile 'Predatory'

Outcry as judge brands 13-year-old victim of paedophile 'predatory'

A judge and prosecutor have caused an outcry after they described the 13-year-old victim of a middle-aged paedophile 'predatory'.

The teenage girl was preyed on by 41-year-old Neil Wilson - who avoided jail after a judge said the girl had egged him on.

Incredulous child campaigners were so appalled that they have called for the sentence to be reviewed – and now David Cameron has stepped in to support their stance.

The cause is now being examined by the Attorney General's office.
Wilson, 41, was handed an eight-month suspended sentence and walked free from court on Monday.

Now living in York, he had watched the girl strip out of her school uniform at his home in Romford, Essex, before she performed a sex act on him.

He admitted two counts of making extreme pornographic images and one count of sexual activity with a child.

Prosecutor Robert Colover reportedly told Snaresbrook Crown Court in London: "The girl is predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced."

And passing sentence, Judge Nigel Peters told Wilson: "Allowing her to visit your home is something we have to clamp down on and in normal circumstances that would mean a significant term in prison."

But the judge then said he had taken into account that the girl looked and behaved 'a little bit older' than she was.

He told Wilson: "The girl was predatory and was egging you on. That is no defence when dealing with children but I am prepared to impose a suspension."

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said the language used by its prosecutor was 'inappropriate'.

A spokesman said: "The transgressor in this case was the defendant and he bears responsibility for his criminal acts."

More than 4,000 people have already signed a petition set up by a campaigner working on behalf of sex abuse victims calling for a review.

She wrote on the website: "I'm a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I could have been that 13-year-old girl who the judge and prosecutor described as 'predatory'.

"I have seen first-hand how this kind of victim-blaming prevents women from coming forward and protects men who commit these crimes."

The NSPCC warned that the case was part of a wider pattern about how child sex abuse cases are treated in the courts.

Alan Wardle, head of corporate affairs, said: "It was quite clear in the case the predator was the man who was in the dock, not a 13-year-old child, and it is quite clear that a 13-year-old child cannot be complicit in her own abuse.

"Making sure that judges and barristers in all these cases are properly trained and understand the nature of child sexual abuse and how children are groomed in these sort of cases is important."

A spokesman for Barnardo's added: "It is plain wrong to imply in any way that the experiences of sexually exploited children are something they bring on themselves."

The Attorney General said a decision on whether the case is referred to the Court of Appeal will be made within 28 days.