A judge has slammed a family's 'reprehensible' behaviour for taking an £18,000 pay-off from a teacher who sexually abused their four-year-old son instead of notifying police. Paedophile Gerard Raffell, 42, walked free from court despite admitting repeated abuse of the child between 2004 and 2005 until his parents discovered his crimes. Shockingly, instead of reporting him to the police, they demanded £18,000 for a deposit on their new home in return for silence.
Raffell left his job as a maths teacher, moved house and his offences only came to light four years later when the youngster spoke to others about what had happened.
He pleaded guilty to four counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity at Northampton Crown Court on Friday. Judge Ian Alexander QC said Raffell had effectively already been fined and punished for his crime and the unusual circumstances had made sentencing difficult. Raffell was handed a three-year community sex offenders' treatment programme, placed on the sex offenders' register for ten years and banned from ever working with children.
Judge Alexander said: 'This is a very troublesome case. In 2004 and 2005, you behaved disgustingly. 'You were a close friend and you were a school teacher but you sexually interfered with a young child. 'If people across the country were doing their own bargaining over crimes, what kind of society would we live in? It would be like the mafia' 'This is not a usual case. You were bought off by the child's parents who received £18,000 from you in order not to go to the police.
'That is reprehensible behaviour on their part. But you complied with that position. 'It's made a quandary and I am quite satisfied you need treatment. You need some assistance to prevent the inclination that you have. 'I could not in all conscience be able to send you to prison for a period long enough to receive that treatment, bearing in mind you have already been there six months.'
Stuart Yeung, prosecuting, told the court Raffell was living in Daventry, Northants., and working as a teacher at the time of the offences. When Raffell, now from Edgbaston, Birmingham, was eventually arrested in October 2009, he was found with 50 indecent images on his computer. Hena Vissian, mitigating, said the former teacher had confessed as soon as he was confronted with his crime and was seeking help from a psychiatrist. Judge Alexander said he was asked to take into consideration seven other offences relating to indecent images but said they should have been dealt with separately. He said: 'Why on earth you were not charged with the indecent images I simply do not know.'
Claude Knights, director of children's charity Kidscape, said it was 'very disturbing' that Raffell had been able to buy the family's silence after sexually abusing their son.
She said today: '£18,000 is a lot of money but you cannot put a price on that kind of incident. Being able to write it down in a monetary sense is ludicrous.
'If people across the country were doing their own bargaining over crimes, what kind of society would we live in? It would be like the mafia. 'The whole reason we have a legal system is to prevent situations like this. It's ridiculous.
'The boy is clearly still traumatised if he was talking about it four years later. It is so disturbing that a family would enter into this kind of bargain, particularly as it leave other children at risk.' Peter Saunders, Chief Executive of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) said he was 'flabbergasted' by the case. He said: 'In my 13 years working for charity I have never heard of such a despicable episode and the parents of that poor child obviously need some sort of help. 'To ask for money when such a serious crime has been committed is incomprehensible not to mention the damage it must have done to the child. 'The sentence handed down to this man who has abused a child is unbelievably lenient when he had committed such a heinous crime against a young boy.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1258027/Paedophile-Gerard-Raffell-walks-free-18-000-pay-victims-parents.html#ixzz0iHPyqKPn