Lecturer sentenced in absence over indecent images after going on run to Ireland
A former law lecturer who went on the run from court in England before a jury found him guilty of downloading indecent images of children has been sentenced in his absence.
Julian Myerscough, 55, a former criminal law lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, absconded from Ipswich Crown Court in September 2015 and travelled to Ireland.
He was convicted, shortly after he went missing, of 13 counts of possession of indecent images of a child and three counts of breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
A warrant for his arrest was issued and he was spotted on a ferry from Holyhead to Ireland.
He was detained at a Dublin city centre hotel by Garda officers under a European Arrest Warrant in October 2015.
However he thwarted extradition efforts with a series of appeals over two years, and has now been released from prison in Ireland as the High Court in Dublin deemed too much time had passed.
A decision was taken to sentence him in his absence at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday.
Myerscough, originally from Bolton but who was living in Lowestoft, Suffolk, was sentenced to three years and six months imprisonment and given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, Suffolk Police said.
He had been remanded in custody after first appearing before the High Court in Dublin and Suffolk Police were working with Irish officials and the National Crime Agency to bring Myerscough back to the UK.
However, he lodged a number of appeals to his extradition with the Irish courts, and in August 2017 the High Court in Dublin directed that he should be released from prison, deeming that too much time had passed and he was being unlawfully detained.
Myerscough was convicted of similar offences in 2010 when he was given a 15-month prison sentence.
Judge Emma Peters, sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court, said that just because he had been in custody in Ireland for two years, it did not necessarily mean this would be taken off his sentence.
Detective Sergeant Simon Fitch, of the Protecting Vulnerable People Directorate, said: “Julian Myerscough was twice convicted of possession of indecent images of children – most recently 13 counts of possession of indecent images of a child – as well as three counts breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order that was put in place following his first conviction.
“After fleeing Ipswich Crown Court while his trial was going on, police launched a manhunt to trace him and following close liaison with the National Crime Agency and Irish police he was successfully detained in a hotel in Dublin under a European Arrest Warrant, hours from boarding a flight that would have taken him to Hungary.
“We immediately began attempts to extradite him back to the United Kingdom, but he has done everything possible to challenge, frustrate and delay these efforts, culminating in the High Court in Dublin ruling he should be freed from custody in Ireland.
“Julian Myerscough is a convicted sexual offender and I am pleased that he has finally been sentenced. However, he appears to be unable to accept responsibility for his own actions and seems determined to avoid facing his punishment.
“He may currently be living as a free man, but I am confident justice will catch-up with him eventually and will we continue our efforts to return him to the United Kingdom so that he can serve the sentence handed down to him yesterday.”
Pervert who jumped bail before second child abuse images conviction to be extradited
A former Suffolk criminal law lecturer who jumped Ipswich Crown Court bail is to be extradited from the Republic of Ireland.
A judge at the High Court in Dublin made the ruling today despite Julian Myerscough’s claims that he feared for his life and was not given a fair trial.
Evidence supplied by Ipswich police stated Myerscough, 54, formerly of Alexandra Road, Lowestoft in Suffolk, was found guilty by a jury of 13 counts of possession of indecent images of a child on September 30, 2015.
He was also found convicted of three counts of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order that had been placed on him following his previous conviction.
Myerscough was convicted in his absence and police applied for a warrant for his arrest.
Once the arrest warrant was issued police alerted the port and airport authorities and contacted gardai (Irish police) as they feared he would flee to Ireland.
That night gardai confirmed that Mr Myerscough was on board a ferry from Holyhead in Wales heading to Dublin.
Mr Myerscough was arrested on October 2 at a hotel in Dublin on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.
At his hearing in the High Court, Kieran Kelly BL, representing Mr Myerscough, said his client should not be extradited because he had not received a fair trial in Britain.
In an affidavit handed into the court Myerscough claimed that a key police witness, whose testimony was used to convict him, was not available for cross examination during trial.
Mr Kelly said this was a breach of his client’s right to a fair trial under Section 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Myerscough also claimed that he had been spat at and threatened in the street after his home address was revealed by the media. He said he lived in fear of death and that police in Britain were not able to protect him.
Mr Kelly also raised issues about the European Arrest Warrant, which he said had been completed in a hurry and contained numerous errors and omissions.
Passing her judgment, Justice Aileen Donnelly described as “self-serving” a further argument that Myerscough had not been convicted, even though the jury had found him guilty.
Myerscough, who is a former law lecturer, had argued in an affidavit that his conviction was not complete until a “Certificate of Finding” was issued by the court.
Ms Donnelly said this is “not a requirement and never has been”. She also questioned Mr Myerscough’s expertise, saying that although he is a former law lecturer, he had not told the court what area of law he lectured in.
Justice Donnelly also dismissed the concerns raised regarding the arrest warrant saying a “technical failure” does not impinge on the application and she is satisfied that no injustice has been caused.
Regarding his right to a fair trial, Ms Donnelly said that the British court had already examined his case and dismissed his claims.
She added she will make the order for his surrender on Monday and remanded Mr Myerscough in custody.
Lowestoft man jailed for having indecent images of children
A DISGRACED criminal law lecturer at the University of East Anglia has been jailed for 15 months for downloading more than 1,000 indecent photographs of children.
Sentencing Julian Myerscough at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge John Devaux said material found on computer equipment at his Lowestoft home showed he had a long standing interest in indecent images of children.
He said an aggravating feature of the case was that many of the images depicted children under the age of 12 and said he was sentencing Myerscough on the basis that he was in possession of more than 1,200 indecent photographs and movies.
Myerscough, 48, of Alexandra Road, Lowestoft, denied 16 offences of making indecent images of children between 1999 and June 17 last year and four offences of possessing indecent images of children. After a trial lasting several weeks last month a jury convicted Myerscough of three offences of downloading indecent images of children and two offences of possessing a total of 1,335 indecent images of children.
In addition to jailing Myerscough for 15 months Judge Devaux ordered him to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for ten years and made him the subject of a ten year Sexual Offences Prevention Order. He also ordered him to pay £3,000 prosecution costs.
Myerscough, who disposed with the services of his legal team during the trial and represented himself, told the court he faced a tribunal in relation to his employment, from which he was currently suspended, in January and would almost certainly lose his job.
He said that in relation to the two offences of possessing indecent images of which he had been convicted it was not possible to say on what basis the jury had found him guilty in terms of the quantity of images.
Evidence presented during the trial included a timeline which showed that within three minutes of a pornographic movie being created on Myerscough’s computer, a BBC sports web page featuring Twenty20 cricket was viewed followed by files featuring classical music and narrow gauge railways.
David Wilson, prosecuting, said these subjects reflected Myerscough’s interests and the timeline was a “smoking gun” linking him with the offences.
A UEA spokesman said: “It is not our practice to comment in detail on individual cases, but I can confirm that the university is implementing appropriate internal procedures following the outcome of this case.”