October 2011

Convicted paedophile will have jail term reviewed by CPS

PROSECUTORS are to review a jail sentence given to a convicted paedophile.

Family and friends of the young victims preyed on by child abuser David Whieldon have launched a campaign for the three-year sentence to be increased.

Hundreds of people in North Staffordshire have so far signed petitions calling for the jail term to be reviewed.

Whieldon, aged 63, was jailed for three years after grooming and sexually abusing two “very young” children.

The judge ruled that Whieldon should spend half the sentence behind bars and serve the rest on licence.

Campaigners, who say the young victims and their families have been devastated by the ordeal, are outraged Whieldon could be out within months.

They have welcomed the review by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Mother-of-three Jackie Proudlock, aged 54, of Cheadle was one of two people who distributed copies of the court case to families in Onsetter Road, Berryhill, where they believe Whieldon now owns a house.

Mrs Proudlock was spoken to by police who made her stop delivering leaflets to families in Berryhill.

She said: “The police were very good, but they told us to leave it alone.

“I can not and I will not. These children will suffer for the rest of their lives.

“I feel very sorry for the families who live near this man. I spoke to some of them and they were very shocked.

“The family of the girls are devastated and it is something they will never get over.”

The petition was started by law student Abii Flaherty, aged 18, of Meir, and is being circulated throughout North Staffordshire.

She plans to target families in Berryhill next week. “Other people have taken copies and are getting friends to sign them and putting them up at work,” she said.

Jean Hayter, a 58-year-old nurse, who helped distribute the leaflets, claimed police in the case had also been upset.

Mrs Hayter, from Cheadle, said: “The original judge had warned Whieldon it was a very serious offence and he would be sent down for a very long time.

“Three years is far too lenient for what he has done.

“I would be very pleased if his sentence is increased to reflect the severity of the offences and the ripple effect it has on family and friends.”

Families in Onsetter Road backed campaigners who delivered the leaflets.

Mother-of-two Amanda Brindley, aged 26, said: “It’s not particularly nice to think someone like that will be moving here.”

Partner Shaun Barker, aged 25, added: “I’m glad we have been made aware of it.”

Whieldon, of Tean, admitted two charges of sexually assaulting a child under 13 and one charge of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

He was jailed for three years at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court on the incitement charge for which the maximum sentence is 14 years.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said the sentence could be increased if it was judged to be unduly lenient.

He said: “We are seeking advice on whether we can appeal or not.”