Prison sex offender has sentence increased


A serving prisoner has had his sentence increased for sexual offences committed while in prison. John Christon was convicted of sexually and physically assaulting another prisoner. He pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to assault by beating, two counts of sexual assault and one count of assault by penetration.

He was sentenced to a total of nine months in prison four months concurrently for the offences of assault by beating and sexual assault and five months consecutively for the assault by penetration.

The Crown Prosecution Service referred the matter to the Attorney Generals Office to be considered as an unduly lenient sentence, because it was considered that the sentencing guidelines for sexual offences had not been fully taken into account.

The Attorney General agreed and the case was heard by the Court of Appeal and the sentence increased to five years.

Janine Smith, Chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands said: "Sexual offences are some of the most serious crimes we prosecute. The impact can be immense, affecting all aspects of a victim's life. It was our view that John Christon should have received a much more severe sentence for the crimes he committed because of the violent nature of the offences.

"The Attorney General's Office supported our view and presented a compelling argument that the sentence was unduly lenient. The Court of Appeal agreed with this submission and have substantially increased the sentence. We are satisfied that this increased sentence better reflects the criminality of Christon's actions."

Background information:

John Christon was part of a group of prisoners who assaulted the victim in prison. However, after the initial physical assault, Christon took a different course of action on his own, committing a serious and degrading sexual assault on the victim. The rest of the prisoners pleaded guilty to assault by beating and were sentenced accordingly.

Read the response from the Attorney General to the outcome here.