May 2016

Billericay paedophile who groomed child has appeal refused


A “dangerous” paedophile from Billericay who claimed he was treated too harshly by the courts has been told by top judges he deserves every day of his jail term.

Leonard Whatmore, 59, left a seven-year-old girl with “serious and enduring psychological scars” after “grooming” her and subjecting her to perverted sex attacks.

Whatmore, formerly of Goldington Crescent, was jailed for six years at Maidstone Crown Court in September last year.

Condemned as a danger to society, he was also ordered to serve three extra years on licence after his release.

Whatmore was convicted of sexual assault and causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Today (Friday) he asked Lord Justice Hamblen, Mr Justice Jay and Judge John Wait to cut his sentence, claiming it was far too tough.

London’s Criminal Appeal Court heard Whatmore was effectively “homeless” when he committed the sickening crimes.

His offending had “serious and enduring psychological effects” on his young victim.

And the judge who jailed him slammed Whatmore as posing “a serious risk of harm to children”.

“The risk came from befriending families with children and effectively grooming them,” Lord Justice Hamblen said today.

Lawyers for Whatmore argued his punishment should be reduced, pointing to his previous good character.

But Lord Justice Hamblen ruled there was nothing excessive about Whatmore’s punishment.

He concluded: “This application for permission to appeal must be refused.”

October 2015

Child sex offender who abused Gravesend girl jailed

A Gravesend girl has been commended by police for her “tremendous courage” in reporting abuse she suffered from a man in his fifties.

Leonard Whatmore, 58, formerly of Billericay, Essex touched the girl inappropriately on two separate occasions between July and October 2013.

Whatmore also asked the girl to sleep in his bed and help assist him in the bath, though she refused.

Whatmore was arrested in August 2014 after the girl told her mother what had happened.

He was later charged with two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two of assault by sexual touching.

After denying the offences Whatmore was found guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on September 4.

He was sentenced yesterday (Thursday October 29) to a minimum of six years in prison, which could be extended to nine following a parole board hearing.

He must sign the sex offenders register for life.

Investigating officer detective constable Zoe Traynor said: “There is no excuse for what Leonard Whatmore put his victim through and I am glad he will now serve a minimum of six years behind bars, where he can cause no further harm to children.

“The victim in this case displayed tremendous courage in not only disclosing what had happened to her, but also in giving evidence to the court and reliving the terrible crimes committed against her. I am so proud of her, as I know her family are too.

“Kent Police takes all reports of child sex offences very seriously and victims can rest assured we will investigate such incidents thoroughly to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”