October 2011

Pervert’s prison sentence cut by High Court judge

A “DANGEROUS” paedophile who preyed on three little girls – aged as young as six – has had his indefinite jail term overturned on appeal.

Tobias James Hutchinson claimed he was just indulging in “sexual experimentation” as a teenager when he committed a series of sex attacks on his victims.

But the 31-year-old, of Walbrook Road, Normanton, was brought to justice when the girls complained to police years later.

Hutchinson was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment for public protection, which is almost identical to a life term, at Derby Crown Court on February 7.

He pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assault and was convicted of a further similar offence, as well as counts of attempted rape and sexual assault on a child under 13.

Yesterday, Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice Cranston and Mr Justice Hickinbottom, sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, overturned the open-ended sentence, saying it was unlawful.

Hutchinson had been assessed as posing “a high risk of further sexual offences against children”.

But Lord Justice Hughes said the public protection sentence – from which Hutchinson might never have been released – had to be quashed as it was unclear whether his crimes had been committed before or after that type of sentence was introduced.

The judge replaced the indefinite sentence with a 10-year prison term, of which Hutchinson will serve half before he is scheduled to be released. He would remain on licence in the community for the remainder.