Febuary 2012

Child Rapist’s early bid to end jail sentence

A child rapist jailed for 20 years has made an audacious bid for freedom less than six months into his sentence.

Reginald Navard, who was jailed last September for the sickening acts carried out over a 27-year period, has applied for immediate early release on compassionate grounds.

The 72-year-old former engineering worker carried out the attacks in Bristol between 1975 and 2002.

Because of the historic nature of the offences Navard, of Evenlode Gardens, Shirehampton, was due to serve two-thirds of his sentence rather than half, meaning he would not be released until he was 84 years old. But a furious victim has been informed Navard had applied for immediate early release.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was appalled Navard could be “free to torment her again.”

In a letter from the Avon and Somerset Probation Trust, seen by the Daily Press, she was asked for her opinion on his application.

“I told them I didn’t care if he was dying,” she said.

“He showed me no compassion so why should I show him any? He didn’t even plead guilty until I was about to take the stand and give evidence.

“I find it incredible that four months after his conviction, he is to be released to torment me again.

“I have written to the secretary of state but I have no idea whether that will make a difference or not. I have no idea who can make this sort of decision and sleep at night.

“It took 17 years for me to get justice and he has only served four months. I can’t believe it’s just four months down the line and they are talking about letting him out.”

During his trial, Navard admitted 19 charges of abuse on three youngsters, which included raping two of them.

He admitted seven charges of indecency with a child under 14 on a boy, and also admitted two rapes and an attempted rape of a girl under 14, and four indecent assaults on her.

At the time, sentencing Judge Michael Roach told him: “There is no doubt in my mind that they will carry the effect of what you did with them for the rest of their lives.”

Navard was also subjected to an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order and he had to sign on the sex offenders register for life.

He was due to be released when he was 84 but Under Section 248 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the secretary of state may release a prisoner on compassionate grounds at any point in the sentence if he is satisfied that this is justified by exceptional circumstances.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Justice said: “All applications for compassionate release are carefully considered against the published criteria.

“Release is granted only in exceptional circumstances.”