CPS defends charges as man jailed for six years over historic sex abuse

THE Crown Prosecution Service has defended the charges it brought against a man convicted of historic sex offences after criticism from a judge.

Paul Gary Paget, of Church Street, Prescot was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of four charges of gross indecency with a child, in relation to offences committed nearly three decades ago.

On Friday, October 26 Paget was given a six-year jail term for the crimes.

However, during sentencing a judge said that a longer sentence could have been imposed if the CPS had brought more serious charges against Paget.

Bernard Byrne, of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit of Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said:

“The file of evidence on this case was thoroughly reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service and was kept under review throughout the prosecution.

“When deciding whether to charge a person and what that charge should be, the lawyer must be certain that both tests of the Code for Crown Prosecutors have been met.

“That means – the prosecution must be in the public interest and there must be sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction on the charge chosen. The reviewing lawyer must consider what the defence case may be and how it is likely to affect the prospects of conviction.

“The CPS decided in this case, based on the evidence available, that the appropriate charge for both types of alleged offending was Section 1 of the Indecency with Children Act 1960.

“The defendant was charged, indicted, found guilty and sentenced to six years in jail.

“We note the comments of HHJ Watson QC.”