October 2003

Parents devastated as paedophile avoids jail

A paedophile who lured a ten-year-old to woodland before attacking her has been allowed to return to his home in Sands, High Wycombe.

Alan Bates, 64, of Mill End Road, received a three-year conditional discharge after he admitted indecently assaulting the girl.

Judge Christopher Tyrer angered the child’s parents, who were at Aylesbury Crown Court on Tuesday for the verdict, by ruling out a prison sentence because of Bates’ age and previous good character.

Bates will also not receive a place on a sex offenders’ programme after Judge Tyrer heard there were no suitable rehabilitation initiatives in the Thames Valley area.

Judge Tyrer told Bates: “You touched this girl in a wholly inappropriate way accompanied by wholly inappropriate remarks.

“There are disquieting aspects in the report I have read. In your conversations [with the report’s authors] you were moving away from an acceptance from what you did. That concerns me and it also concerns me there is no suitable treatment programme.

“You are deemed unsuitable for the Thames Valley Project for sex offenders. Grave though this is your personal circumstances just persuade me not to send you to prison.”

Aylesbury Crown Court was told Bates assaulted the girl after luring her into woodland under the pretence of seeing wildlife. Bates initially told police he did not think he had touched her improperly before later admitting it. His lawyer told the court his actions were not premeditated.

The assault came to light when the girl told her parents.

As well as the conditional discharge, Bates was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years and pay £500 compensation.

THE devastated parents of the girl attacked by paedophile Alan Bates have condemned his sentence.

The couple, who have not been named to protect the identity of their daughter, told the Free Press of their sense of injustice after Judge Christopher Tyrer chose not to jail the 64-year-old High Wycombe man.

Speaking after the verdict, the child’s mother said: “With this sentence it’s as if nothing ever happened. My husband and I are so angry Ð we have been let down by the justice system.”

Her husband said: “Obviously Bates has a problem but there was nothing to help him. He should have gone to prison. He didn’t accept what he did was wrong. He should have been made to get on some programme but there doesn’t seem to be any around here and that’s unacceptable.”

The mother said: “We have been through hell. Our daughter is alright now, she’s coped admirably. She’s a very well-balanced child. I haven’t even told some members of my family what this man did to my daughter because if they knew the full truth they’d kill him.

“But we want people to know that this man is still out there. We want other parents to know what he has done and we don’t want to see it happening again to some other little girl.”

She added: “The family want to thank the police and child protection unit for all their help. They have been fantastic and we wouldn’t have been able to get through this without them.”