Horror attack paedophile fails in bid to clear name
A “SADISTIC” paedophile who left a little girl with life-threatening injuries after a horrific sex attack has failed to overturn his conviction.
Christopher Atkins, 31, of Cotgrave, was jailed for 17 and a half years at Nottingham Crown Court last September for sexual assault and child cruelty.
The court had heard how the child, who cannot be identified, lost 220 milligrams of blood in the attack and was treated at the Queen’s Medical Centre, but has since made a full recovery.
Atkins had previously been investigated by social services in Manchester about other allegations, but this did not lead to a prosecution.
An independent review found “considerable shortcomings” by Notts County Council’s children’s services department and said proper checks into his background could have “lessened the possibility of abuse occurring”.
When Atkins was sentenced last year, Judge Michael Stokes QC said: “The child in this case was a vulnerable, innocent little girl when you committed an offence of unspeakable cruelty and perversion, an offence which all right-minded people would regard as repellent.
“You are in my judgment a predatory and sadistic paedophile. How any human being could do this to a little girl is almost beyond comprehension, but the fact is you did.”
Atkins received 16 years for the sexual assault and 18 months for child cruelty.
He was put on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Yesterday, Atkins’ lawyers asked the Criminal Appeal Court, in London, to overturn his convictions, claiming he did not receive a fair trial.
Lawyers for Atkins argued that the judge had mishandled the original trial and “departed from accepted standards of impartiality.”
It was submitted, amongst other things, that Judge Stokes had repeatedly stated that the child could have died from her injuries, when there was no evidence to back that up.
It was also argued that his tone had radiated “veiled contempt and derision for the defence” during his summing up to the jury.
But Appeal Court judge Sir Brian Leveson dismissed these claims, describing Judge Stokes’ summing up as “measured, controlled and appropriate in manner.”
“This trial was fair and the convictions were inevitable. This appeal is dismissed,” he concluded.
Detective Inspector Yvonne Dales, from Notts’ child abuse investigation unit, said after Atkins was sentenced last year: “Christopher Atkins was a sadistic and controlling individual who put a defenceless child through untold pain.”
Paedophile Atkins Jailed For 17 Years
A sadistic paedophile whose sexual abuse of a toddler was “almost beyond comprehension” has been jailed for more than 17 years.
Christopher Atkins, 32, carried out a life-threatening sexual assault on the girl after social services failed to conduct background checks.
Atkins, from Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, committed the “wicked and vile” sex attack two years ago after lying to social services about his personal life.
After Atkins was found guilty of sexual assault in July, it emerged he was already known to authorities before the horrific offence, having been suspected of abusing another child in the Manchester area.
In sentencing Atkins at Nottingham Crown Court, the city’s most senior judge Michael Stokes QC said: “The child in this case was a vulnerable, innocent little girl when you committed an offence of unspeakable cruelty and perversion, an offence which all right-minded people would regard as repellent.
“You are in my judgment a predatory and sadistic paedophile and unless whatever issues you have are addressed you will present a serious risk of causing harm to other children.
“How any human being could do this to a little girl is almost beyond comprehension, but the fact is you did. I have no doubt that you would have been content for the grievously injured child to go without medical attention of any kind.”
Atkins, whose offences will now be the subject of a serious case review, was sentenced to 16 years for sexual assault and a consecutive 18-month term for child cruelty.
He was told he must serve half his sentence before being released on licence.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was treated for severe internal injuries after being taken to hospital, where medical staff also found 18 bruises on her face and scalding to her back.
Atkins is known to have supplied his name and his correct date of birth to social services before attacking the toddler, but checks which would have “flagged up” his past were not carried out.
The victim’s father was in court to witness Atkins being jailed and is considering legal action against the council.
The man, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, said: “Social services have not listened to a word I’ve said – I asked them to check on Atkins and they didn’t bother.”
Nottinghamshire County Council’s director for children’s social care, Steve Edwards, said action had been taken to address “shortcomings” within the local authority.
Sarah Sheppard, 25, now living in Farnborough, Hampshire, received a 12-month prison term, suspended for a year, for an offence connected with the case.
Sheppard pleaded guilty to child cruelty by neglect.