November 2007

I was too harsh, judge tells pervert

Just days after jailing a “depraved” child sex abuser for 11 years, a judge told him “I was too harsh.”

In an extraordinary move, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall, QC, called 60-year-old Edward Weaver back to court and reduced his sentence.

Weaver, of Stott Terrace, Eccleshill, Bradford, was jailed two weeks ago after a jury found him guilty of 11 charges of indecent assault against three girls. He had denied the allegations. He was cleared by the jury of raping one of the girls and a serious sexual offence against a boy.

At the time, Judge Durham Hall, said anyone reading the details of the case would have been “shaken to the core by the depths of Weaver’s depravity.” But sitting at Leeds Crown Court yesterday, he reduced the term of imprisonment to nine years after telling the court: “I am personally dissatisfied I approached the matter in the correct way.”

He added: “Regardless of the suggestion we should leave it to the Court of Appeal, when one is personally dissatisfied and the view is that unfairness has followed, we should resolve it.”

The judge said the maximum sentence of five years for two incidents involving one of the girls was excessive and he reduced it to four years. He also cut the sentences for offences relating to the two other girls from three years to two-and-a-half years for both girls.

Judge Durham Hall said: “This was a bad case of its type, but not the worst.”

The trial at Bradford Crown Court had heard that the victims of Weaver’s offending, which dated back to the mid 1980s, had been left traumatised.

The judge had said one of the girls was clearly scarred by Weaver’s use of her as a sex object.

The jury was told Weaver indecently touched the girls, stimulated sex with them and persuaded one to perform a sex act on him.

The trial also heard how Weaver had been writing sickening paedophile fantasies in 2005.

Passing sentence, Judge Durham Hall said anyone reading the 21 stories, which contained descriptions of gratuitous rape and abduction of youngsters would have been ‘shaken to the core” by the depths of Weaver’s depravity.

The judge agreed to impose a sexual offences prevention order, restricting Weaver’s unsupervised access to children under 16 and prohibiting from him seeking employment which might lead to unsupervised contact with youngsters.