May 2017

Pervert avoids jail after sexually abusing young girl

A paedophile who sexually abused a child is apparently too sick to go to jail.

Pensioner Bryan Shipp carried out horrific acts on a young girl.

He was convicted of six counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

But he has avoided a possible eight year jail sentence because HMP Chelmsford cannot cope with his condition.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard HMP Exeter can cope with terminally ill prisoners but HMP Chelmsford cannot.

If Judge Patricia Lynch QC had sentenced him to immediate custody yesterday he could have spent up to three weeks without appropriate care before he was transferred.

This raised legal questions about his human rights and health requirements.

Shipp sexually abused the young girl in Colchester in the late 1980s.

He began by groping her before the offences became even more vile, including two which, today, would be classed as rape.

The 79-year-old denied all 19 counts but was convicted, following a trial, of eight counts.

The jury were unable to reach verdicts on the remaining counts, including several against a second alleged victim.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to offer any evidence or order a retrial and he was cleared of the remaining 11 counts.

Wheelchair bound Shipp, who has less than a year to live and requires oxygen therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, was brought to court by private ambulance.

Judge Lynch sentenced him to two years in jail for each of the eight counts, to be served concurrently, and then suspended all sentences allowing him to go home.

She said: “It is not as an act of compassion.

“It is not because I do not think these are serious offences that deserve a custodial sentence that I do not pass an immediate custodial sentence but because your condition is so terminal this case is wholly exceptional.

“It is not appropriate to send you to prison.”

Judge Lynch explained she had read medical reports confirming he had “12 months at most”.

Speaking about his crimes she said: “They ruined the life of the victim.

“She was a child. These are dreadful offences.”

He was convicted in his front room via Skype.

The former taxi driver, now of Latimer Road, Eastbourne, was too sick to stand trial at court but the combination of technological advances and a determined judge meant his victim got justice.

Shipp was charged with 19 offences and convicted of eight but would, in the past, have been considered unfit to stand trial.

Judge Patricia Lynch QC ordered he stand trial via Skype despite questions from the Crown Prosecution Service and his defence.

She also allowed his victim to give evidence from another continent demanding it be tried.

The system, centred around Chelmsford Crown Court, worked.

It was the first time it had been tried there and opens up the possibility of other suspects facing a trial who otherwise could not, serving the interests of justice.

April 2017

Pensioner convicted of historic child sex assaults in Colchester after Skype trial

A PENSIONER has been convicted of eight historic child sex offences committed in Colchester.

Bryan Shipp was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court.

No verdicts were reached on another 11 alleged offences, including three counts of rape, and the jury were discharged yesterday.

A decision is yet to be taken whether there is a re-trial on the remaining counts.

The 76-year-old paedophile now lives in Latimer Road, Eastbourne and is seriously ill.

He appeared at court via a Skype link.

Shipp committed his crimes in the Eighties.

He was convicted of two counts of indecent assault which involved groping the bottom and breasts of a child aged under 14.

He was convicted of two further counts of indecent assault involving sexual touching on a young girl.

Shipp was further convicted of two counts of indecent assault for making a child carry out a sexual act on him.

His two convictions for indecency with a child involved making a child carry out another sexual act on him.

Shipp was bailed with a provisional sentence date, depending on any re-trial, of May 25.

The trial took place at the court via a variety of video links.

Judge Patricia Lynch QC, who warned Shipp she would see him again when she sentences him, took the decision to allow the trial to go ahead via Skype with herself, the jury, prosecution and defence in court and Shipp and a legal representative at his home.

The set-up was controversial with objections from barristers involved in the case but Judge Lynch insisted it was the best way to have an effective trial.

She ruled it was not in the interest of the then alleged victims not to have a trial, while Shipp had the right to participate.

He will be sentenced at court.

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