A JUDGE has changed the sentence of a paedophile after admitting he was wrong in law to pass an indefinite jail term.
Calderdale child molester Robert Hind, 44, was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment for public protection at Bradford Crown Court last month, but Judge Jonathan Rose reviewed the jail term over a legal “anomaly”.
Hind – jailed twice before for indecently assaulting boys – had pleaded guilty to being involved in sexual activity with another teenage boy.
Judge Rose admitted that in passing the sentence of imprisonment for public protection, with a minimum term of 18 months, he had taken account of Hind’s previous convictions for indecent assault.
“The matter has been listed before me today because it has been picked up that that was an unlawful sentence,” conceded Judge Rose.
The judge said he had overlooked an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act which “for reasons best known to the lawmakers of this land” meant he could not take account of Hind’s previous convictions.
Having considered his original view of the appropriate determinate sentence Judge Rose concluded that Hind, of Bankfoot Terrace, Hebden Bridge, should instead serve a jail term of three years for the latest offences.
Hind’s barrister Stephen Wood said it had been a difficult sentencing exercise, but he said the judge was quite right in identifying what appeared to be an “anomaly” in the legislation.
Judge Rose told Hind that the law had changed and he had not taken that into account when he imposed the sentence of imprisonment for public protection.
But he remained of the view that Hind was a danger to young people and stressed that he would have the remainder of the jail term hanging over his head when he was released after serving half of it.
“If you commit further offences of this sort there will not be the legal barrier, I am confident, to imprisonment for public protection on the next occasion,” added Judge Rose.
At the previous hearing in September Hind was made the subject of an indefinite sexual offences prevention order and must also be on the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.