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Ex-Dragon Doug Richard not guilty of sexual offences involving a 13 year old

(10 Posts)
honeywithlemon Sat 30-Jan-16 18:15:48

From the Guardian, yesterday.

I can't find a thread on this story?? Not guilty of three counts of sexual activity with a child, one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one charge of paying for sexual services.

Horrific. She was under 5 ft tall and weighed less than 6 stone. He asked her to meet him after school, and found her on a website, dubbing himself a "Sugar Daddy" looking for a "Sugar Baby". Yet a jury believed him when he said he thought she was 17. She was 13 years old, accompanied by her 15 year old friend. I'm looking for the judgement, if it's public.

tiktok Sat 30-Jan-16 18:32:57

Dreadful man. Very very sad for his wife and kids, and the poor kid who got involved with him.

prh47bridge Sat 30-Jan-16 18:36:23

This was not an appeal. The jury does not give reasons. The judgement in this case is simply "not guilty". There is no more. Given the nature of the defence we can infer that they accepted that he may have believed she was 16 or over and that such a belief was reasonable in the circumstances. We can also infer that the jury concluded that the prosecution had not proved the money was a gift. But there will be no detailed judgement for you to read.

HoneywithLemon Sat 30-Jan-16 18:42:58

Thanks for clearing that up. Would the judge have to direct the jury and is that direction published?

I find it hard to believe that a 13 year old could pass for 17, especially since he spent time with her beforehand. Surely, a jury might conclude that her language and behaviour, and that of her 15 year old friend, might have led one to reasonably question if they were over 16?

I've just read the relevant bit of law. We don't have "statutory rape" unless the child is under the age of 13. Time to extend it to 16, surely? I don't understand why this is not already the case. It seems to be an invitation to paedophiles, and this case leaves the door open wide.

PurpleDaisies Sat 30-Jan-16 18:44:28

There is another thread here...

HoneywithLemon Sat 30-Jan-16 20:49:18

Thanks for that PurpleDaisies

prh47bridge Sat 30-Jan-16 23:57:18

Would the judge have to direct the jury and is that direction published

Yes the judge will have directed the jury. That direction is not published unless it appears in newspaper reports which does not appear to be the case here. There will be a transcript but you have to apply to the courts for permission to obtain a transcript.

It isn't called statutory rape in the UK. This case does not in any way change the law. It is still an offence for anyone over 18 to have sex with a child under the age of 16 regardless of whether or not the child consents unless they reasonably believe that the child is 16 or over.

Veritat Sun 31-Jan-16 02:01:55

Absolutely he's a disgusting, pathetic specimen. But the jury which read and heard all the evidence, and in particular saw the defendant and witnesses being cross-examined, decided that the offence wasn't proved beyond reasonable doubt, and they must know a hell of a lot more about it than either you or me.

HoneywithLemon Mon 01-Feb-16 13:25:50

Indeed they must. I am fascinated to know why and we will never know. And it seems to me that the law protects men (well, it will often be men) giving them a getout if they find themselves deceived into thinking that the girl is under 16. I think that the law should ask if it's reasonable to question whether this girl was underage. Given what little we know, (5ft tall, weighing 6 stone), the answer to this must have been yes.

prh47bridge Mon 01-Feb-16 18:29:42

I think that the law should ask if it's reasonable to question whether this girl was underage

If the defendant argues that he thought the victim was 16 or over the jury must consider whether or not such a belief was reasonable in all the circumstances.

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