Febuary 2012

Peeping Tom soldier avoids jail term

A SOLDIER who indecently filmed a teenage girl walked free from court after a judge expressed her frustration at sentencing rules.

Private Birendra Limbu, 34, is set to be formally discharged from the army today after he was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Friday, having earlier admitted eight counts of taking indecent photographs of a child.

Judge Mary Jane Mowat voiced her “sheer frustration at the state of the sentencing legislation” due to her inability to pass a jail sentence alongside a rehabilitative programme.

She gave Limbu, of Tyne Road, Dalton Barracks, Abingdon, 32 months’ supervision with a requirement to participate in the sex offenders’ group-work programme.

Judge Mowat said: “I could pass a 20-week sentence, but you would come out in 10 weeks without any prospect of a treatment programme or proper supervision.”

She said a suspended sentence was also ruled out because a suspension can only last two years, not the 32 months needed for the group-work programme.

“One is rather blocked at every turn,” she said.

Jennifer Edwards, defending, said Limbu had lost his career and possibly his home over the incident, adding: “Prison won’t achieve anything”.

She said the offending should have been charged as voyeurism and Judge Mowat agreed and she effectively treated the case as such.

Limbu was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for five years.