March 2012

Islington paedophile’s time in prison doubled by outraged judges

Simon Hilton, 29, of Wolsey Road, Newington Green, was originally handed a prison sentence of four years with six years on licence.

But this was upped to eight years and a five year licence period by the Court of Appeal last Thursday.

The case had been referred by the attorney general Dominic Grieve QC MP, the government’s top legal advisor, for being unduly lenient.

Hilton’s co-defendants also had their jail terms increased; Robert Hathaway, 37, of Tyseley Road, Somers Town, had his six year sentence upped to life with a minimum of 10 years and Melissa Noon, 30, of the same address, had her four-year term upped to eight years.

The ruling was made by a group of senior judges, led by Lady Justice Rafferty.

She told the court: “It is difficult to find the words to express the outrage all right-minded people will feel upon hearing of these dreadful deeds.”

“Adults debased themselves and, in so doing, traded children as commodities. All these offenders found common cause in debauchery and wickedness.”

Lawyers representing Mr Grieve said the case was so serious that it fell outside anything that existing sentencing guidelines could contemplate.

The ring Hilton was part of had used the internet to distribute photos and videos of abuse to a wider network of child sex offenders as far afield as Australia.

But lawyers defending the trio said the crown court judge was in the best position to decide the terms as he had heard all the evidence.

Mr Grieve later said: “All cases which involve the sexual assault of children are shocking, but the fact that these offences were filmed and distributed online to others in other countries, make it particularly so.

“Robert Hathaway was a manipulative lead player in these offences and I feel that the sentence handed to him today now reflects that.

“Melissa Noon and Simon Hilton also knew exactly what was happening and played a full role in the abuse. I am grateful to the court for its consideration today.”