October 2006

Judges: Child-sex ruling too lenient

craig

A MAN who raped and abused a young boy – telling the child he would be imprisoned if he told anyone – has had his “unduly lenient” jail term increased.

In June, Craig Latham, 46, of Great Whyte, Ramsey, was jailed for six years at Peterborough Crown Court.

He had been found guilty of three counts of indecent assault on a boy, and one of indecent assault on a girl under 16.

But following the intervention of the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, on the grounds that the sentence had been too lenient, London’s Criminal Appeal Court last Thursday added three years to Latham’s sentence.

Lord Justice Hooper, sitting with Mr Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Lloyd Jones, quashed the original punishment and imposed a nine-year sentence.

He said the correct starting point for the sentence should have been eight years, which had to be increased because of the aggravating feature, including the planning involved in the offences.

“We take the view the sentence that ought to have been passed would be in the region of about 10 years,” he said.

“The offender told the male they would both go to prison if the male victim reported anything.”

The offences happened more than 20 years ago when the boy was aged between four and seven, and the girl was eight or nine.

At the original trial, Peterborough Crown Court was told Latham had formed a relationship of trust with the children while baby-sitting them.

The abuse only came to light in February 2003 when one of the victims confided in a friend. It took another two-and-a-half years for the victim to build up the courage to contact the police.

Latham, who had no previous convictions for sexual offences, denied all the charges and claimed the case was a conspiracy against him.

June 2006

Jail for rapist who showed porn film to five-year-old

A RAMSEY man who showed a pornographic film to a five-year-old boy before abusing and raping him has been sentenced to six years in prison.

At Peterborough Crown Court on Friday, Craig Latham, 46, was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault on a boy and one charge of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16.

The assaults took place more than 20 years ago.

The male victim, who is now 24 years old, told the court the abuse continued until he was aged about 10, and although Latham never raped him again, other indecent acts took place on at least three separate occasions.

The court heard how after Latham had raped the boy he told him “he shouldn’t tell anyone” as “it wouldn’t just be me who goes to prison but you as well”.

The abuse only came to light in February 2003 when the victim confided to a friend about what had happened. It took him another two and a half years to come forward and talk to the police.

Latham, who denied all the charges and was cleared of one specimen charge, said the case was a conspiracy against him.

Defending Latham, Stephen Spence said: “My client has always denied these charges. He has admitted that he was often alone with the toddler when he baby-sat for him but we are being led to believe that out of the blue this man decided to assault the boy.”

Before the assaults took place Latham had formed a relationship of trust with the children while babysitting them and the court heard how the children liked spending time with him because he used to play with them.

The court was told he later used games of hide and seek to get them on their own so he could indecently assault them.

On one occasion, when Latham was baby-sitting, he went into the boy’s room and sexually assaulted him.

In court the victim said: “I thought about screaming out but I didn’t. I was too scared so I pretended to be asleep.”

On another occasion Latham was playing hide and seek with the nine-year-old girl and he suggested they hide under the duvet together. He then indecently assaulted her.

She told the court: “I remembered what he had done to me but I tried to put it at the back of my mind.