PM David Cameron supports ban on prosecutor who branded paedophile victim, 13, a ‘predator’ after Romford sex attack
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
A prosecutor who branded a 13-year-old victim of a Romford paedophile as “predatory” has been banned from undertaking sex cases while he is investigated.
Barrister Robert Colover was describing the schoolgirl victim of 41-year-old paedophile, Neil Wilson.
Wilson was given an eight-month suspended sentence on Monday after admitting he had engaged in sexual activity with the girl at his home.
The Attorney General Dominic Grieve is to determine whether the sentence was unduly lenient.
A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said the case was being reviewed.
He added: “We are now considering the involvement of this barrister [Mr Colover] in sexual offence prosecutions and have advised his chambers that we will not instruct him in any ongoing or future cases involving sexual offences in the meantime.”
Mr Colover reportedly told Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday: “The girl is predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced.”
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Wilson met the girl after she asked him to buy cigarettes for her while she played truant from school.
He took her to his Romford home where she performed a sex act on him.
Judge Nigel Peters told Wilson: “I have taken in to account that even though the girl was 13, the prosecution say she looked and behaved a little bit older.
“You knew she was not nearly 16 as she said and your plea of guilty recognises that you knew.
“Allowing her to visit your home is something we have to clamp down on and in normal circumstances that would mean a significant term in prison.
“On these facts, the girl was predatory and was egging you on.”
The CPS has been bombarded with complaints since the hearing was made public.
More than 15,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the CPS to investigate the language used by the barrister.
The CPS added: “The word predatory in this context should not have been used and is of real concern to the CPS.
“It is not consistent with the work that we have undertaken alongside the judiciary and others in the past year to improve attitudes towards victims of abuse.
“We expect all of our prosecutors, including self-employed barristers who act on our behalf, to follow our guidance in these very difficult cases.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said he supported the CPS. “I think the CPS are absolutely right to say that what one of their lawyers said was not appropriate. It isn’t appropriate. We need a criminal justice system that stands up properly for victims.
“The victims should always be at the centre of our thinking and I’m pleased the CPS have made that statement and I’m also pleased that the Attorney General has said that he is personally going to look into this case.
“The CPS themselves have said that this isn’t appropriate, the Attorney General is going to look into the case and we need a system that properly stands up for victims. That’s what matters and that’s what’s going to happen today.”
Police also found images of child abuse and bestiality at Wilson’s home.
Wilson, who now lives in York, admitted two counts of making extreme pornographic images and one count of sexual activity with a child.