March 2010


A PAEDOPHILE who became infatuated with a girl has had his nine-year jail sentence cut at the Court of Appeal.

John McCrickerd, 46, of Vulcans Lane, Workington, was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court in October after admitting gross indecency and three counts of sexual assault.

But after an appeal by his lawyers, judges Mr Justice Gross and Sir Robert Nelson reduced the prison term to seven years.

Sir Robert told the court how McCrickerd had developed an infatuation which after first becoming aroused in her presence sparked a campaign of sexual abuse of the pre-teenage girl, involving touching, simulated sex and encouraging her to perform a sexual act on him.

She reported the matter but withdrew her complaint, and McCrickerd was only prosecuted when he went to social services and said that he wanted to hand himself in to police.

Admitting the offences, McCrickerd said he did not have an attraction to other children.

His lawyers argued that nine years was too long for someone who had come forward to confess their guilt when otherwise they might not have been charged.

Sir Robert Nelson said the sentencing judge had been correct to say that the offences were serious but added that it was excessive, given that there were even worse offences of this kind and that it was his McCrickerd’s admissions and remorse which enabled the prosecution to take place.

“The victim declined to take any part after her initial complaint had been withdrawn.”