April 2008

Court agree with paedophile sentence

Top judges today backed a controversial Oxford judge by agreeing with his decision not to jail a paedophile.

Callum Witheridge, 18, formerly of Glyme Drive, Berinsfield, but now of Field Avenue, Blackbird Leys, walked free from court in January after he was convicted of molesting a girl and a young boy.

Judge Julian Hall handed him the supervision order and put him on the sex offenders’ register for two-and-a-half years.

He was also banned from contacting children on the phone or Internet for 10 years, and told he could not be in the presence of a child without another adult.

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, urged London’s Criminal Appeal Court to hand Witheridge a stricter sentence.

Sir Igor Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Aikens and Mrs Justice Swift, dismissed the Attorney General’s application.

He said: “We have to face the reality that these offences were committed by a 16-year-old whose childhood had been profoundly disturbed.”

The appeal judges added Witheridge needed a sentence which offered him some treatment.