Judge who offered to pay court fine for teenager who stabbed her paedophile abuser found guilty of misconduct

Girl said she felt let down by justice system after abuser avoided jail time, despite being found guilty

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The Independent Online

A judge who offered to pay a court fine for a teenager who stabbed her paedophile abuser has been found guilty of misconduct. 

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC made the offer after hearing the Bradford girl’s case. 

The teenager, then aged 14, had stabbed her abuser six years after he walked free from court, despite assaulting her when she was eight years old.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with attempted murder, but prosecutors eventually accepted a lighter charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

Judge Hall sentenced the teenager to a two-year youth rehabilitation order and told her not to pay the mandatory victim surcharge, adding: “If anyone tries to force you, I will pay it myself.”

The decision prompted an investigation by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, which found his comments amounted to misconduct. 

He was given “formal advice” – the lowest sanction possible, The Times reports. 

The teenage girl had told the court she had felt let down by the justice system, after she gave evidence at her abuser’s trial in 2009. 

The man, who was 56 at the time of the knife attack, had been found guilty of abuse, but was only sentenced to a community order, with a supervision requirement. 

The girl had described in court how her life had been destroyed by the abuse she suffered as a child at his hands. 

She pleaded guilty to her charges, admitting she had stabbed the man in the upper abdomen on his own doorstep and said: “I am going to kill you”.

The teen then went to a local police station and told officers she had killed someone.

The man survived the stabbing, but was seriously injured after the blade severed an artery near his heart.

In delivering the teenager’s sentence, Judge Hall had said it would be “callous and cruel” to give her a custodial sentence for the attack. 

He told the girl: “It is self evident that this offence was caused by, and solely relates to, the impact of the offending upon you when you were eight. 

“It would be a disgrace to send a survivor like you to prison. I hope to be able to help you.”

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