Child sex offenders jailed after appeal by Solicitor General
Two men who sexually abused two 14-year-old girls have been sent to prison after the Solicitor General appealed against their initial sentences.
Lee Pollard and Marc Allen were originally sentenced at Exeter Crown Court in November to 15 months in prison, suspended for 24 months.
One of the victim’s mothers criticised the outcome.
The Court of Appeal has since quashed the original sentences and replaced them with immediate prison terms.
Pollard, 26, of Saxmundham, Suffolk, has been jailed for two years, nine months and Allen, 26, of Torquay, Devon, has been given three years and six months.
Pollard and Allen, who were convicted of sexual activity with a child after trial, both denied knowing the girls were underage.
The offences took place while the girls were under the influence of alcohol and drugs at a party in Dawlish, Devon.
In his sentencing, Judge Graham Cottle said the sexual activity was consensual and the girls were drunk when the men arrived.
But their case was referred to the attorney general’s office under the unduly lenient sentence scheme after one of the girl’s mothers criticised the outcome.
Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, said: “Despite knowing that the girls were only 14 years old Pollard and Allen engaged them in sexual activity and provided them both with alcohol and drugs.
“They have no excuse for their behaviour.
“I hope that the increased sentences will bring some comfort to the girls’ families.”
Mum’s outrage at judge’s remarks that 14-year-old daughter gave consent to sex after being given drink and drugs
The mum of a 14-year-old girl has reacted with fury to comments by a judge in Exeter that her daughter had ‘consensual’ sex with a man during a drug-fuelled night-out.
Lee Pollard and Mark Allen, both 26, were given suspended sentences after being found guilty of sexual activity with two girls under 16.
The men, who were aged 24 at the time, gave the girls booze and amphetamines before engaging in oral and full sex with the 14-year-olds.
Judge Graham Cottle said the sexual activity was consensual and the girls were drunk and ‘almost naked’ when the men arrived.
But the mum of one of the victim’s has hit back at the judge and the sentence.
She said: “I’m horrified to be honest.
“My daughter went out expecting to be in the company of females, she had no idea these men would turn up.
“I very much doubt she would have gone if she thought that was the case. She was not in a fit state to consent to anything and I’m appalled that the judge has deemed this to be possible.”
Pollard and Allen were found guilty at a trial in November after denying sexual activity with girls under 16. The jury found them guilty on the basis that both men, who were 24 at the time, knew all along that the girls were just 14.
The trial heard the girls had been drinking before the men arrived at the flat in Dawlish.
They came loaded with drink and amphetamine and a few hours later sent out for a delivery of condoms and more booze.
One of the girls had full sex with Pollard and both oral sex with Allen.
But it is the language used by the judge, as well as the prosecutor and defence lawyers in summing up the case, which has caused outrage from the girl’s mum.
All agreed sex between the men and girls had been consensual. The judge put the case in a lower sentencing category – ultimately allowing him to suspend the jail term.
He said he would not pass a sentence which condoned adult sex with girls under 14 but added the men had ‘been greeted by a scene they had not anticipated at all’ when they arrived at the house.
He said it was no responsibility of the men that the girls had been drinking before they arrived.
“By the time you arrived they were, if not completely naked, then almost. And there followed consensual sexual activity between the two girls and the two of you.”