Lawyer Peter Garsden, from Abney Garsden – a trading arm of Simpson Millar LLP, who has won widespread recognition for his groundbreaking work on hundreds of child abuse claims, today criticised the sentence handed down to convicted paedophile Douglas Slade, and criticised laws preventing his abuse victims from bringing a civil claim.
Slade, was sentenced today to 24 years for offences committed in the 1970s and 1980s against three boys.
Garsden, head of the abuse department at Abney Garsden, a trading arm of Simpson Millar LLP, said:
‘No sentence of imprisonment for a sex offender is long enough because sexual abuse imposes a life sentence of suffering on any victim.
‘Because Slade shows no sign of remorse for his crimes he is undoubtedly a dangerous offender to children who will never be safe to be allowed into society without some degree of risk. As such I would advocate the imposition of an indeterminate sentence for the protection of the public, which was a type of sentence abolished by the present government in 2012.
‘I strongly believe his three victims should be entitled to compensation for the way in which Douglas Slade has abused them. As the law stands most claims for abuse must be brought within three years of the victim reaching the age of 18.
‘This tragic case illustrates the naivety of society in the 1970s when Slade and others were able to campaign through the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) for a lowering of the age of consent to 11 years of age. Slade, like others involved in PIE, disguised their predilection for paedophilia behind a façade of respectable lobbying for changes in the law of sex offenders to recognise the increasing development of sexual liberalisation in society.
‘The healthy state of the criminal law, without limitation in time for sexual offences against children, is an example of a law that should not be changed despite our intended departure from the EU.
‘The deportation of a sex offender who fled to the Philippines underlines the true international dimension of child sex offending.’
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Peter Garsden was awarded the 2015 Law Society Excellence Award for Solicitor of the Year Private Practice. A Law Society Gazette profile interview can be read here: http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/people/interview-peter-garsden/5051926.article
The firm’s leading cases include Group Action claims against Manchester children’s homes and Lord Greville Janner.
Abney Garsden is a trading arm of Simpson Millar, owned by Fairpoint Group Plc