Judge offers to pay teenager’s court fine as he refuses to jail her for stabbing paedophile who abused her as a child
- Girl, then 14, attacked the man with a kitchen knife at his home in Bradford
- He was spared jail for sexually assaulting her when she was just eight
- She felt let down by legal system and was scared he was ‘going to get her’
- Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told the girl it would be a ‘disgrace’ to send her to prison for causing grievous bodily harm with intent
A judge offered to pay a teenage girl’s court fine as he refused to jail her for stabbing the paedophile who abused her as a child.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC told the 15-year-old it would be a ‘disgrace’ to send her to prison, despite the fact she had attacked the man, 56, in his own home, stabbing him close to his heart.
And he refused to impose a mandatory victim surcharge on the girl when she appeared at Bradford Crown Court, after hearing that the paedophile had destroyed her life, adding: ‘If anyone tries to force you, I will pay it myself.’
‘It would be a disgrace to send a survivor like you to prison,’ Judge Durham Hall added.
The court heard the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, armed herself with a knife and stabbed her tormentor in the chest, severing a major artery, after she felt let down by the justice system.
He had sexually assaulted her when she was just eight years old, but was spared jail and was instead given a community order.
After the trial, the man had harassed and bullied the girl, the court heard,leaving her to feel like the legal system had let her down.
In November last year the girl, who was 14 at the time, armed herself with a large kitchen knife and went to his home in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
She told him: ‘I am going to kill you,’ and plunged the blade into him in front of his two young children.
Heather Gilmore, prosecuting, said the weapon entered his chest wall and cut through the artery supplying blood to the right ventricle of his heart.
The man, who also cannot be identified, was saved by the swift intervention of paramedics and surgeons. He was in intensive care and needed a blood transfusion.
After stabbing her abuser, the girl hugged her aunt, said: ‘Tell my mum I love her,’ and handed herself in at Trafalgar House Police station, in Bradford city centre.
She immediately confessed to what she had done, telling officers: ‘I’ve killed someone.’
The girl originally charged with attempted murder but the Crown accepted her plea of guilty to causing grievous bodily harm with intent.
Miss Gilmore said the girl had been ‘entirely destroyed’ when her abuser was not jailed for sexually assaulting her and inciting her to engage in sexual activity.
She had to give evidence at his trial because he denied the offences, and after the case became paranoid he was ‘going to get her.’
The girl was later excluded from school for poor behaviour. She feared she would never get a husband and she lived her life in a bad dream, the court heard.
It would be a disgrace to send a survivor like you to prison: Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC
Her abuser had been left in constant pain from the stab wound. He was permanently scarred and his children had been affected.
Elyas Patel, mitigating, said: ‘Rightly or wrongly, this 15-year-old felt that the justice system had let her down.
‘With Your Honour at the wheel, the justice system will not fail her today.’
He added: ‘She was left deeply troubled and scarred. She acted in a few moments of despair and desperation.
‘This is an exceptional case which requires an exceptional course.
‘This deeply troubled and damaged child, bedevilled by low self esteem, is crying out for help.’
He told the court that the girl had the unwavering support of her mother who knew her daughter needed ongoing support.
Judge Durham Hall sentenced the girl to a two year Youth Rehabilitation Order with supervision.
‘You stabbed him in the region of his heart,’ he told her. ‘Mercifully, you did not kill him.
‘He was saved by excellent medical intervention and has made a pretty full recovery.’
The judge continued: ‘Why did you stab this man? Because when you were eight in 2009 he committed serious sexual offences against you.
‘He was treated by the courts, with hindsight, somewhat leniently but things have changed. Now there is condign punishment in cases of this nature, in accordance with the guidelines.’