Judge tells Hartlepool man his 'hands are tied' over indecent assaults committed when defendant was schoolboy
A judge said his “hands were tied” when it came to dealing with a man who appeared at court to be sentenced for sex offences he committed when he was just a schoolboy.
Colin Taylor, 47, from Hartlepool, appeared at Teesside Crown Court for three counts of non-recent indecent assault after he admitted the charges at an earlier hearing.
He was sentenced on Tuesday, June 16, to a community order with supervision requirements and must remain on the sex offenders’ register for two-and-a-half years.
The judge said his options were limited as Taylor had to be sentenced according to the court’s powers at the time he committed the offences while a juvenile.
It was also different to how a juvenile would be dealt with today by the courts for the offences, he added.
Judge Jonathan Carroll told the court: “My hands are tied in terms of sentencing to the powers that would have existed to the court at the time the offences were committed which in reality at a maximum is some form of supervision.”
He added: “It follows that there’s no custodial sentence available to me now for this offending.”
Judge Carroll said Taylor’s crimes had caused “lifelong distress” to the victims who stayed silent about the offences for many years.
Taylor, who lives in Everett Street, off Jesmond Road, was arrested early in 2019.
Aisha Wadoodi, prosecuting, said he remained silent to all questions put to him when first questioned by police before later pleading guilty to the offences.
Passing sentence, Judge Carroll said: “I’ve read the victim impact statements and there’s no doubt at all that these offences have left them with lifelong distress. Profound distress as a result of your behaviour.”
He said Taylor’s admission of wrongdoing was perhaps most important for the victims and he added: “I hope that goes a long way to giving them some comfort for bringing these matters to the attention of the police so long after the event.”
Taylor’s barrister David Lamb made no comments in mitigation after the judge said he would impose a 12-month community order with supervision requirements.