March 2004

Indecency man loses his appeal

A MARRIED man jailed for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl he met in an Internet chat room and for downloading child porn has failed to get a cut in his sentence.

Alan Ralph Wiles (36), of Woone Lane, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to indecent assault and 10 counts of making indecent photographs of children.

He was jailed in April last year for six months and was also given an extended licence period of 18 months.

He was also disqualified from working with children and was put on the sex offenders register.

He has now been released from jail, but the extended licence period means he remains under close supervision in the community and can be recalled to prison if he puts a foot wrong.

His lawyers this week argued, without success, that the extended licence period was too long.

They claimed his rehabilitation was being hampered because he is being forced to live apart from his family after the probation service made it a condition of his release that he would not be allowed contact with anyone under 18.

Mr Justice Mitting, sitting with Lord Justice Rose and Mr Justice Newman, said Wiles struck up a relationship with the girl, arranged to meet her and attacked her in the bedroom of his former home in Ribchester.

He said the 10 photographs found on Wiles computer after his arrest were of erotic poses of children.

Pre-sentence reports on him classed him as posing an immediate risk of re-offending and expressed concern because he believed his behaviour towards the girl was acceptable, the judge said.

Mr Justice Mitting also said that Wiles had refused to take part in a sex offenders’ rehabilitation programme.

As a result his probation officer had recommended the 18-month licence period as a protection to children and to aid his rehabilitation, Mr Justice Mitting continued.

Dismissing Wiles appeal, the judge rejected lawyers’ arguments that his sentence was too short for a licence period to be imposed.

He also ruled it was acceptable for the probation service to make the ban on him associating with anyone under 18 during the licence period.

He said it would be up to Wiles to apply to the probation service to relax this condition if he felt it was too harsh.