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Paedo sisters who sexually abused boy over decade from age six spared jail – because they are DEAF
Two evil sisters who sexually abused a boy when he was aged just six and then again when he was a teenager have been spared jail – because they are both DEAF.
Julie Fellows, 30, and her sister Jennifer, 32, targeted the youngster over a period spanning 14 years.
But a judge today went against guidelines and ruled that it wouldn’t be fair to jail the pair – who have never learnt to lip read – as they would not be able to communicate properly in prison and effectively mean they were in isolation.
He also cited the fact that sign language isn’t available in prison – and that one of the defendants was pregnant – as reasons not to jail the sick pair.
Both had previously been told to expect “very significant sentences” for their vile abuse.
The court had heard Julie was aged 14 when she lured the young boy, aged six, into a petrol station toilets in 2000 where she touched herself intimately.
On another occasion she performed a sex act on the victim who thought the behaviour was “the norm” because it happened so frequently.
Julie also had sex with the boy on a sofa several years later when he was aged 14 while her boyfriend asleep in the the same property.
The abuse only stopped when the victim spoke to friends and realised the behaviour wasn’t normal.
Jennifer Fellows outside Worcester Crown Court
Julie was found guilty following a trial of indecently assaulting a boy aged six to nine between October 2000 and April 2004 and sexual activity with a boy aged between 13 and 17 by between October 2008 and October 2010.
Jennifer admitted gross indecency with a child under 16 between October 2000 and April 2004 and inciting a male child aged between 13 and 17 to engage in non-penetrative sexual activity between October 2008 and October 2010.
But today the sisters, of Kington, Herefordshire, were sensationally spared jailed when they were sentenced at Worcester Crown Court.
Julie was found guilty following a trial of indecently assaulting a boy aged six to nine
Judge Robert Juckes QC decided not to cage them even though the starting point in guidelines for Julie’s offending was SIX years in prison, with a starting point of one year in jail for Jennifer.
The judge said he was sparing the sisters an immediate jail term because their deafness would mean they would be in a state of “complete isolation” in prison.
Sentencing to the pair via sign language interpreters, Judge Juckes added: “This is a depressing and disturbing case.
“You Jennifer were ten years older than the victim and the abuse was limited to (performing a sex act) in front of him and getting him to (perform a sex act) in front of you.
“Later when he got to the age of 14 and you were 24 or 25 you persuaded him further and again to (perform a sex act) in front of you and you did that by referring back to what he had been prepared to do at the age of six.
“You pleaded guilty on the basis that there was no touching of either of you by the other.
“In your case Julie the abuse began when he was six and you were about 14 but progressed to the point where you (performed a sex act on) him.
“When he was over the age of 16, probably 15 rather than 15, as a visitor in your house it led to full sexual intercourse on one occasion.
“The question for me as far as I am concerned Julie is this, do I have to impose an immediate custodial sentence.
“The conclusion I’ve come to is that a custodial sentence in your case would be wholly inappropriate and the reasons are the disability you have, the fact you’re about to give birth and the fact that you have lost a child recently.
“I do not in any way overlook the effect of this on the victim.
“A custodial sentenced on you would have a highly damaging effect on you, it seems to me appropriate to avoid it.
“Both of you have led constructive lives.
“The disability you both have is that you suffer from profound deafness and it’s a degenerative condition that’s getting worse in both of your cases.
“Neither of you can lip read but you have both developed high skills in sign language and that has been a remarkable thing to witness in court.
“These are not facilities I presume that are available in prison.
“For the length of time you would be there your ability to communicate would be extremely limited.
“You would be living in a state of complete isolation.”
Pregnant Julie, who wore a pink dress, was handed a two-year prison sentenced suspended for two years.
Mum-of-one Jennifer, who wore a blue jacket with navy jogging bottoms, was handed a 12 month jail term, suspended for one year.
Both were made subject of a supervision requirement for 12 months.
The sisters were also ordered to complete 30 sessions of a sexual offending programme and given of a five-year restraining order to have no contact with the victim.
The court heard the twisted pair first started abusing the boy when he was aged six in 2000.
Prosecutor Simon Phillips said: “The allegations date back many years and the more serious of them are the victim was six and Jennifer was 16 and Julie was 14.
“The behaviour was so frequent it became routine and he thought it was the norm.
“He believed she loved him and he needed the love and he warmed to attention.
“Julie later moved in with her fiance Adam and the victim was sitting on the sofa with Julie watching TV while Adam was asleep.
“She started a conversation with him about what used to happen and she put his hand down her trousers.
“She told him he needed to lose his virginity and said: ‘Who would you rather lose it to?’
“She got him to get onto his knees and they had intercourse for a short period of time.
“She was between 22 and 24 and he was 14.
“There were no further instances of intercourse but further instances of touching.”
Julie told officers the sisters both played boyfriend and girlfriend games with the boy but denied sexual intercourse ever took place.
The court heard the sisters were “profoundly deaf” and neither can lip read meaning they both rely on a sign language interpreter to communicate.
Adam Western, defending Julie, told the court she is pregnant and due to give birth in January.
He said: “Of course all sexual offences are serious and the effects in the victim can be significant but in my submission there’s a significant difference to be made where it is the defendant who is penetrated and not the victim.
“The effect of immediate imprisonment on this young woman would be so severe that your honour should avoid it.
“The resources in prison will not stretch to accommodate somebody with this significant disability.
“It would inevitably make her vulnerable to others.
“She would be so isolated in prison, coupled with the fact that she is pregnant and her due date is in January.
“The pregnancy is likely to be complicated because of the tragic way her last pregnancy ended.”
Abigail Nixon, defending Jennifer, added: “She is in a constant state of tinnitus which clearly affects her every day life.
“Without interpreters she will be unable to communicate.
“Any period of custody would mean total isolation for Jennifer Fellows.”