cath fox Peter Saint 1 Court of Appeal 6 Oct 2000

  1. Peter Saint 1 Court of Appeal 6 Oct 2000

Redaction

Some court reports have had victims names redacted and some assault details redacted.

This is a difficult balance –  normally I would think that  I should not “censor” details but on consultation with various people I have taken the decision to redact. This is mainly to protect victims, their friends and relatives from unnecessary detail and to stop the gratification of those who seek salacious details.

In addition to the obvious “victims redaction” to protect victims details, there may also be “assault redaction” across most of the spectrum of abuse. The assaults are left in the charges, but mainly redacted when repeated with reference to the individual. I have also redacted unnecessary detail of assaults.

Redaction may obscure sometimes the legal reason for the appeal, but should make no large difference to the vital information for researchers that these documents contain. That vital information is mainly names of the perpetrators, past addresses, institutions where assaults occurred, the actual charges the perpetrators faced, and dates – on which newspapers are pathetically inaccurate and this information enables the links between people and places and abuse at various times to be ascertained.

Some transcripts may have been subject to automatic reading software and whilst effort has been made to correct these, the text should not be regarded as definitive.  Common mistakes in reprinting here are that quotation marks are sometimes not correct, replaced by odd symbols.

If you think that the balance is not correct or that a particular redaction needs reconsideration, please say.

This appeal is unredacted by cathy fox blog

Index of Newspaper and Journal articles on this blog [1]

Index of Court Appeals on this blog [2]

[2000] EWCA Crim J1006-8

No: 00/1970/X4

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL CRIMINAL DIVISION

Friday 6th October 2000

Lord Justice Roch

Regina

v.

Peter Saint

Computer Aided Transcript of Smith Bernal Reporting Ltd 190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AG Tel No: 020 7421 4040 Fax No: 020 7831 8838 (Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

NON-COUNSEL APPLICATION

JUDGMENT

(As approved by the Court)

1.

MR JUSTICE GRAY: This is a renewed application by Peter William Saint for leave to appeal against the sentence which was imposed on him at the Crown Court at Snaresbrook by His Honour Judge Medawar on 16th July 1999. In addition, it is necessary for the applicant to obtain the leave of this Court to appeal out of time. The single judge refused both applications.

2. The sentence then passed was one of four years’ imprisonment on each of two counts of indecent assault on a male. Somewhat unusually, before the present application has come on for hearing, this case has already been before this Court, when the applicant appealed successfully against his sentence. It was reduced from four to three years on each count. We now have to consider whether it is arguable that the applicant’s conviction was unsafe. In relation to each of the two assaults, the complainant was a 14-year-old boy.

3. The facts relating to those assaults were these. The applicant knew the complainant’s family and suggested that the complainant come to work for him, helping him out on his car boot sale stall. The complainant began work for the applicant in April 1999. The prosecution case was that the applicant employed the complainant with a view to indecently assaulting him.

4. The complainant gave evidence. He said that he had been helping the applicant at the car boot sale. As he served a customer the applicant touched him on the buttocks. Initially the complainant thought that this was a joke of some sort, but the applicant then began to make comments such as “Shut up or I’ll touch your balls”. Following this, he touched the complainant’s leg and tried to touch his testicles. This happened on two occasions, both of which occurred whilst the complainant was sitting in the applicant’s van. The complainant further testified that the applicant made various suggestive remarks, asking whether he had hair on his testicles and whether he was good at oral sex. He estimated that the applicant tried to touch him on four occasions in total, including the incident described above. He went on to describe at least three incidents of the applicant slapping, hitting or touching him on the buttocks. He added that whilst in the van he asked the applicant if he could drive to which the applicant replied, “Only if I can have a feel of your balls”. The complainant felt afraid of the applicant and was worried that he would not be taken home. When he got home the complainant began to cry and told his mother what had happened.

5. The defence case was that these allegations were all quite untrue. He gave evidence on his own behalf. He denied having ever indecently assaulted the complainant and claimed that he had not touched him at all. He said that he tried to treat him as an employee. There had been some problems with the complainant throwing stones and part of the stall table being found missing, but he denied that he had been in any way harsh towards him or maltreated him. In cross-examination, he denied that he had a policy of wanting young boys to come to work for him.

6. Such being the factual background, the first issue which arises is whether the applicant should be granted leave to appeal out of time. The conviction was on 16th July 2000. The notice of appeal was not, however, lodged until the end of March 2000. It appears that two months of that substantial delay is accounted for by the fact that the solicitors then acting for the applicant had received the notice from their client some two months before (that is to say at about the end of January) but had neglected to forward it to this Court. That, however, leaves a substantial period of delay prior to the end of January unaccounted for. The applicant’s explanation is that he was seeking a firm of solicitors to act for him in place of those who had acted at the trial. When he found a firm he regarded as suitable, it took some time for their advice to be provided to him.

7. We cannot accept that the applicant has shown any good reason for the period of delay prior to the end of January. Consequently, the extension sought must be refused.

8. We have, nevertheless, to consider —as did the single judge —the merits of the application for leave to appeal the conviction.

9. The grounds are set out in a lengthy notice drafted by the applicant himself. They consist in the main of a series of complaints by the applicant against his then legal advisers. But there are, in addition, some grounds of appeal put forward which can readily be seen to be utterly misconceived.

10. One is that the complainant gave evidence without having been sworn. The transcript shows that assertion to be simply untrue.

11. The applicant also complains that the verdicts are inconsistent, which, on the face of it and in the context of this case, is meaningless.

12. We return to the allegations made against the applicant’s legal advisers. He having waived privilege, we have seen the detailed written responses both of counsel and of the solicitors then acting. With two exceptions, we do not propose to go through those complaints individually, save to say that we have found nothing in the papers beyond the applicant’s bare assertion to support his criticisms of his legal adviser’s conduct of the case.

13. The first exception to which we refer, because it is a grave allegation, is the claim that counsel was guilty of malice in connection with his advice on this appeal.

14. This can be seen to be based on a complete misreading by the applicant of his then counsel’s advice. Counsel did not state that he had “groped” the complainant’s genitals, which would have been untrue, rather that he had “groped for” them, which was the complainant’s evidence.

15. The second exception is the applicant’s complaint that insufficient time was spent by his counsel with him prior to the trial in preparation. Implicit in that criticism is the contention that counsel was negligent in his preparation of the case. It transpires, however, that the case was, on the application of the defence, adjourned for a full day for the specific purpose of enabling further preparation to take place. We are entirely satisfied that the case was properly prepared by counsel.

16. Having considered the multiple criticisms made by the applicant of his legal advisers, we have concluded that there is no substance in any of them. We note that, according to the letter from counsel to which we have referred, immediately after his closing speech to the jury, the applicant asked him for his business card because he wanted to recommend him (counsel) to his cell mate.

17. Looking at the matter more broadly, there does not appear to this Court to be any basis for saying that these convictions were even arguably unsafe. It was a question of fact for the jury whether they accepted the complainant’s evidence or the applicant’s denials. There was evidence from the complainant’s mother of the recent complaint to her by her son, who told her what the applicant had done and was visibly distressed. There were no misdirections of law in our judgment. The judge was fair, in our view, in his summary of the evidence. This application is, as it appears to us, without merit. Even if the appeal had been brought in time, we would have refused the application for leave.

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. These links are generally UK based.

  • The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.
  • National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups.
  • One in Four [C]
  • Havoca [D].
  • Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.
  • Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.
  • Hwaairfan blog An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma  [J]
  • Survivors UK for victims and survivors of male rape or the sexual abuse of men [K]
  • Voicing CSA group [L] helps arrange survivors meetings in your area
  • A Prescription for me blog Various emotional support links [M]
  • ShatterBoys -“Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse Inspiring change, Through Shared Experience Whilst Building Connections…Together We Can Heal” [N]

Links

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