Judge Who Offered To Pay Girl’s Fine After She Stabbed Her Abuser Has Been Disciplined

A judge has been disciplined after he offered to a pay a teenage girl’s court fine for stabbing a paedophile who abused her.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC was presiding over the case of a young girl who stabbed a man, when she was 14.

The unnamed girl, tracked down her abuser, who had been allowed to walk free from court six years earlier despite being found guilty of sexually assaulting her when she was just eight years old, and stabbed him in the chest, close to his heart.

The teen was charged with attempted murder, but a lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent was later accepted by prosecutors.

When sentencing the girl Judge Hall told her not to pay the mandatory victim surcharge, and added: “If anyone tries to force you, I will pay it myself.”

Refusing to jail her, Judge Hall said: “It would be a disgrace to send a survivor like you to prison.”

As a result of his words the judge was investigated by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office and the lord chancellor and lord chief justice ‘considered this failed to demonstrate impartiality, and that his comment amounted to misconduct’, the Law Gazette reports. However, he was given the lowest sanction possible – ‘formal advice’.

The girl handed herself into Bradford police after the attack, which saw her plunge a kitchen knife into the man in front of his family. The man was saved after medical intervention, a spell in intensive care and a blood transfusion.

After the attack the teen hugged her auntie and said: “Tell my mum I love her,” before handing herself into police where she told cops ‘I’ve killed someone’ and made a full confession.

In 2009 the 56-year-old man she attacked was found guilty of sexually abusing and the girl, as well as inciting her to engage in sexual activity, but was never given a prison sentence, instead he was handed a community order with a supervision requirement.

The girl’s defence lawyer told the court that the fact her abuser had not been jailed had ‘entirely destroyed’ her.

When Judge Hall made the comments at the trial last year he was hailed as a hero by many. Polly Neate, chief executive of Women’s Aid told the Telegraph: “Her actions were viewed within the context of the perpetrator’s serious sexual abuse of her as a child. We commend Judge Durham Hall, and we hope he sets a precedent for other victims of abuse.”

The mandatory victim surcharge was brought in 2007 and has no exceptions, meaning that in this case the girl would have had to pay the man, her former abuser, the surcharge (which can range from £15 to around £100, depending on the case).



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