The four men were sentenced by Reading Crown Court and received what are referred to as 'indeterminate' sentences. Simon Wyn-Davies 38 was sentenced after pleading guilty to 22 counts of rape on a child under the age of 13. He was given a sentence of imprisonment for public protection of a minimum of 11 years and 6 months. This means that he has to serve that amount of time in prison before being eligible to apply for release. Peter Malpas 47 has been sentenced to an IPP of 5 years and 9 months after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a child under the age of 13 and possession and distribution of indecent images of children. Nicholas Cordery 63 was sentenced to an IPP of 5 years and 6 months after admitting two counts of conspiracy to rape a child under the age of 13 and possession and distribution of indecent images. Anthony Slack 54 was sentenced to an IPP of 5 years having pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rape a child under the age of 13.
All four men have to serve their specified sentences as their minimum period in custody before being able to apply for release on parole.
Judge Stephen John was told that what was described as a 'paedophile ring' was discovered last year when an undercover Metropolitan police officer had contacted Slack through an internet chat room arranging to meet at a London hotel telling Slack that he would bring his 'daughter' with him. Slack was arrested and photographs were found on his computer which eventually led to the arrest of Wyn-Davies. On the date of the meeting arranged by the undercover police officer items had been found in Slack's hotel room consistent with an intention to commit sexual offences.
Having arrested Slack the trail led to Wyn-Davies who was described by the Metropolitan Police as the 'leader' of the group. Enquiries into Wyn-Davies then led to Cordery as the police saw messages in which he claimed he had contacts who could arrange discreet meetings in relation to children. The police said that Cordery had "offered his remote farm as a venue for abuse to take place". Further enquiries then led to the arrest of Malpas.
The police described the four men as "highly manipulative, evil and dangerous individuals". The police have indicated that they believe that the four men will have committed other offences currently unknown to police and therefore are calling for anyone who believes they may have been the victim of the men to report the incident to the police in confidence.
Although IPP sentences are due to be abolished they do still remain in force and whilst they are perhaps not being used quite so readily as before, they are still available to be used in the most serious of cases, and clearly the court has marked its view of the seriousness of this particular case with the imposition of an IPP for each defendant.
Once the prisoners have served their minimum sentence or 'tariff' the parole board will review their cases and decide whether they can be released or not. IPPs are referred to as indeterminate sentences due to the fact that the prisoner does not have a definite date that their sentence will end, due to the fact they can be detained even after the tariff period has expired.
In custody the prisoners will have a offender manager, a probation officer who will prepare a sentence plan for each individual prisoner. They then have a offender supervisor allocated to them who will work with the offender manager to ensure that the prisoner follows their sentence plan. Each offender will have an Offender Assessment System (OASys) assessment to identify their risk factors and to calculate their risk of reoffending in the future, and also to identify the assistance each offender may need whilst in custody and this will also help identify the offending behaviour courses that each offender will be asked to complete whilst in custody. Examples of the sorts of courses that the offenders may be asked to participate in are Think First or Enhanced Thinking Skills, Sex Offender Treatment Programmes and Anger Management Courses. The prison service has no ability to compel an offender to take part in these courses, but if they fail to do so it makes the ability to assess their level of risk more difficult, which will naturally impact on their ability to convince the parole board to release them at the end of their tariff period.
The above is not legal advice, it is intended to provide information of general interest in current legal issues.