This disgusting serial paedophile’s sentence is ‘too short’ – but judges disagree
A paedophile who was jailed for a string of twisted sex offences against two young boys has narrowly avoided having his prison sentence lengthened.
Jack George Pickering, 65, formerly of Hull, subjected the two boys, who were both under the age of 13 at the time, to horrific acts of sexual abuse more than 40 years ago.
By the time the offences came to light, Mr Pickering was already serving a 15-year sentence for numerous crimes against other children.
In March this year, he was sentenced to another two years and two months at Hull Crown Court for indecency and indecent assaults of the two boys.
The case reached the Appeal Court on Thursday May 24 after a reference by the attorney general, Jeremy Wright QC, that the sentence was “unduly lenient.” Paul Jarvis, QC, representing the attorney general, argued that the sentence was too soft for the terrible crimes against the boys.
But after a hearing at the Court of Appeal in London, three senior judges decided against upping the sentence, which runs consecutive to the 15 years already being served.
The appeal judge, Lord Justice Holroyde, said: “Plainly, these were serious offences, committed against very young victims, but the sentencing judge also had to bear in mind that, at the time of the offences, Mr Pickering was only in his very early 20s.
“Furthermore, the judge was entitled to give weight to the fact that he is now in his mid-60s.
“He was, in any event, facing many more years’ imprisonment under his 2016 sentence and the experience of custody was particularly difficult for this offender.
“We accept that the total term imposed by the judge was lenient and many judges would have added a rather lengthier period to the 2016 custodial term.
“But, after careful consideration, we are not persuaded that the sentence fell outside the range of sentences reasonably and properly open to this experienced judge.”
Depraved paedophile raped and abused four children
A paedophile who raped and sexually abused four children as young as six has been jailed for 15 years.
Jack Pickering, 63, threatened to kill his victims if they ever tried to expose his depravity. On one occasion he brandished a pair of scissors.
The offences all took place in the early 2000s.
John Thackray, prosecuting at Hull Crown Court, said Pickering used a camera to record some of the abuse he meted out to his terrified victims.
The barrister summarised four victim personal statements.
Referring to the first victim, Mr Thackray said: “Their childhood was taken from them. They feel angry, frustrated and hurt. They say it has affected their relationships.”
The second victim was so badly scarred they contemplated taking their own life. The abuse affected their feeling of “self worth”, said Mr Thackray.
In respect of the third victim, Mr Thackray said they suffers mood swings and aggression and has developed a “mental block”.
The fourth victim now suffers from low confidence, struggles to sleep and “continues to feel shame”, said Mr Thackray.
Pickering, who was living in 11th Avenue, north Hull estate, when the abuse occurred, pleaded guilty to 25 sexual offences, including three counts of rape.
Patrick Palmer, for Pickering, said his client is remorseful.
“Pleas of guilty in cases like this are very rare indeed,” he said. “Notwithstanding overwhelming evidence many who are guilty of this type of offending would rather brazen it out in court. This defendant has not attempted to do that.
“He is distressed at what he has done. He is disgusted and ashamed at what he has done. There is no excuse whatsoever for what he has done. He knows that. He knows that he has ruined the lives of his victims.
“He has now spent the best part of a year in custody. For some considerable period of time he has not eaten. He is being treated for depression. He is not seeking sympathy. He does not deserve any. But he has shown insight into what he has done.”
Sentencing, Judge David Tremberg told Pickering: “You used these four children as objects for your sexual desire. This case stands out.
“You caused serious and deep-seated harm. You robbed them of their innocence and deprived them of a normal childhood. You caused each one of them enduring, emotional harm.”
Pickering wept in the dock during the sentencing.
Judge Tremberg said: “It’s all well and good saying you are full of remorse now. But you knew only too well what you were doing was wrong. At the time you were either unable or unwilling to stop.”
He said he believed Pickering still represented a risk to young children.
“I am quite satisfied that if you found yourself in a position where you had unsupervised access to a pre-pubescent child you would continue to be a risk to that child,” he said.
Pickering was jailed for 15 years, but told he could expect to be released on licence after serving approximately half the sentence. Judge Tremberg told him he would have to serve an extra year on licence, due to recent changes in sex offender legislation.