January 2002

Former magistrate slammed for lack of remorse for victims

A FORMER Merseyside magistrate who sexually abused two teenagers was beginning a jail sentence last night. 

Kenneth Allen was told by a crown court judge that he had a “predisposition to abuse young boys” and was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years. 

He admitted three counts of indecency with a child and was jailed for four months on each count. 

But Judge Patrick Robertshaw ordered that sentences on two of the three charges should run concurrently. 

That means Allen, of Prenton Lane, Birkenhead, will serve no more than eight months behind bars. 

The offences, two of which involved a 13-year-old boy, only came to light last year. 

One offence dated back to 1983 while the other two happened last year, Sheffield Crown Court was told. 

Peter Pimm, prosecuting, said the first victim needed counselling after undergoing “considerable trauma”, including depression and alcoholism following the abuse. 

The court was told Allen, 70, had been a magistrate for 20 years but had retired 18 months ago. 

Allen’s counsel said he was not a well man and that the case had brought the pensioner to the brink of suicide. 

But jailing Allen, the judge bitterly criticised his lack of remorse for the offences, which had been highlighted by his lack of co-operation with the Probation Service as they attempted to compile a presentence report. 

Judge Robertshaw admitted that Allen’s guilty pleas had prevented his victims from having to give evidence in court. 

However, he added: “Your attitude to these offences as disclosed by the report does you no credit at all. 

“This report shows, it seems to me, a complete lack of insight into what you are and what you have done. 

“Furthermore, it shows a total and a callous disregard for the trauma and suffering of the victims of these offences as well as the undoubted distress caused to many others.” He added: “The important feature of these offences is the impact they had upon the victims and on each occasion your intention was to commit an act which you knew to be grossly and very seriously indecent towards young boys. 

“At the end of the day, you are to be sentenced because on three separate times you abused young, adolescent boys for the purpose of your own perverted gratification. 

“Each of those children stood in a position of trust and you abused not only them but the position in which you stood. 

“It is aggravated by the fact that two children required counselling. 

“Your attitude to these offences rules out probation and must address what is an obvious predisposition to abuse young boys.” 

The judge continued: “You have had the opportunity to re-think your position and you have declined that opportunity. 

“I have taken into account your guilty pleas, your age, your ill-health and your absence of convictions but there is no alternative and that is a situation you have brought about yourself.” 

Trevor Parry-Jones, Allen’s barrister, said Allen was not well and that the case had brought him to the brink of suicide. 

He apologised to the judge for the problems between Allen and the Probation Service. 

He said: “There was a disagreement between the defendant and the service. 

“They did not set off on the best of footing. 

“I suspect that after that, the relationship effectively broke down. 

“The defendant is not a well man and is suffering from depression. 

“For 20 years, he sat as a magistrate and is someone who has put something into society. 

“He retired from the bench some 18 months ago. 

“In society, he was someone who was looked up to, now he has lost it all. 

“He will be looked upon with disdain. 

“Any period in custody is going to be very serious for him. 

“He is going to be known as a sex offender and also as a magistrate. 

“That inevitably will come out and he will have to be kept separate.” 

Allen spoke only to confirm his name during the 40minute hearing. 

He had pleaded guilty to the three offences at a hearing held last month.