Paedophile OAP from Upminster freed by judges on appeal

A pensioner jailed for child sex offences he committed nearly 50 years ago was freed this week by top judges on appeal.

John Winn, 74, of St Mary’s Lane, Upminster, was handed a two-year jail term in May, after admitting three counts of indecent assault against a child.

But, after his lawyers challenged his sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court on Tuesday, it was reduced to a suspended sentence by senior judges.

The court heard Winn committed the offences in the early 1960s, when he was aged just 26, but they were not reported until almost half a century later.

His lawyers argued his jail term was “too long”, saying he should have been sentenced as he would have been if his crimes had come to light at the time they were committed.

They also said the crown court judge didn’t take enough account of his personal circumstances, including the fact he has prostate cancer and is the main carer for his wife, who suffers from significant mental illness.

Lord Justice Moore-Bick, sitting with Mr Justice Mackay and Judge John Bevan QC, said the jail term was “excessive” and reduced it to a 12-month suspended sentence, with supervision by the probation service.

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The appeal judge added: “Given the weight of the mitigation and in the extraordinary circumstances of this case, the court could properly avoid passing an immediate custodial sentence.”