July 2011

81-year-old paedophile has jail term cut because of his age

AN 81-year-old paedophile who conducted a campaign of rape and sexual assaults against children over three decades has had his jail term slashed by a quarter on appeal.

Alan Frederick Dutton, aged 81, of Bromfield Court, Stone, attempted to rape a 10-year-old girl and committed rapes against two underage teenagers, as well as numerous other sex offences.

He was jailed for 12 years at Stafford Crown Court on February 11, having pleaded guilty to a raft of sex offences including attempted rape, plus a number of rapes and indecent assaults, dating back to the 1970s.

But that sentence was cut to nine years by Lord Justice Elias, Mr Justice Wyn Williams and Mr Justice Holroyde, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, on the basis that he is too old to face such a long stretch behind bars.

The court heard that one of Dutton’s victim’s was so traumatised that she felt suicidal and self-harmed after being raped by him.

Lawyers for Dutton pleaded with the court for mercy, despite his horrific crimes. It was submitted that he was too old and frail to face a 12-year jail sentence.

Mr Justice Wyn Williams said: “This sentence was manifestly excessive by reason of the age he had reached by the time of sentence and by virtue of the fact that he suffers from ill health.

“If he had been a significantly younger man this sentence would be unimpeachable.

“However he was entitled to full credit for his early guilty plea and it is difficult to see that any significant discount was provided on account of his age. Accordingly we allow this appeal by reducing the sentence of 12 years to one of nine years.”