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Predatory paedophile accuses court of "witch hunt" before being jailed

Predatory paedophile accuses court of

Monday 08 July 2019

Predatory paedophile accuses court of "witch hunt" before being jailed


A predatory paedophile with an interest in girls under 10 has been sent behind bars for nine years, following a hearing in which he was forcibly removed from court for shouting that he was the victim of a "witch hunt" in an abusive tirade.

Robert George Carrel (63) was convicted of four counts of sexual misconduct – three of procuring an act of gross indecency, and one of indecent assault - against a girl under 10 between the late 80s and early 90s, following a three-day trial in March.

This afternoon, he appeared for sentencing before the Superior Number - a panel of Jurats that only assembles for the most serious offences – and had to be forcibly removed after he kept interrupting Crown Advocate Richard Pedley whilst he was summing up the facts for the Court.

Carrel previously had to be physically restrained at the end of his trial, after a jury of eight women and four men returned a guilty verdict against him. Addressing the jurors directly, he said there was "no evidence to find me guilty", loudly questioning: "What evidence did you find me guilty on?"

He had also been abusive to police officers who came to arrest him at his home in the UK, where he had moved to sometime between the late 80s to mid 90s, in August 2018 and held a knife to his throat.

Video: Carrel leaving the Royal Court after the jury returned a guilty verdict against him.

During the trial in Jersey, the victim had accused him of taking her “innocence” and ruining her life. She told the jury Carrel would take her to his flat when she was a young girl and ask her to touch him before taking her to the shops to buy her treats - a pattern he repeated on more than one occasion.

She said he would make her do things and tell her he was a good girl and would be “rewarded” when they went to the shops. 

The prosecution's case, led by Crown Advocate Richard Pedley, also included the testimony of another woman who spoke of incidents which took place between her and the defendant when Carrel was living in the UK.

The court heard that Carrel had a series of convictions dating back to 1970, which included “unlawful sexual intercourse” with a 15-year-old girl in 1974 when he was aged 19, gross indecency with a girl under 16 in 2010 – who gave evidence against him earlier this year - and rape of/sexual activity with a girl under 13 with learning disabilities. 

Carrel said the first offence hadn’t been an “harmful experience” for the victim and denied the other two - for which he was previously sentenced to 12 years in prison - arguing the two victims made up their accounts and colluded.

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Pictured: Carrel had to be removed from Court after he refused to remain quiet during his sentencing.

While the Crown Advocate was reading out his previous convictions, Carrel became agitated and started shouting at the prosecutor, telling him to, “Say the truth.” After being warned by the Royal Court Commissioner, Julian Clyde-Smith, not to interrupt the proceedings again, Carrel had to be removed by the custody officers. 

He called the local justice system corrupt and said he had been the victim of a “witch hunt”, using further expletives before being escorted out of the box. 

The Court heard that the victim suffered “serious psychological harm” and PTSD, and remains haunted not only by the abuse but also because she believes she could have avoided the impact on the other victims if she had spoken out earlier. 

The prosecutor said Carrel had no mitigating factors that went in his favour, and had displayed a “planned, predatory behaviour” that had involved manipulation and a significant degree of planning as Carrel “had engineered circumstances to be alone with the girl."

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Pictured: Crown Advocate Richard Pedley moved for a sentence of nine years in prison.

He described Carrel, who claims he is the victim of a conspiracy and continues to claim his innocence, as having “a sexual interest in female children, spanning 34 years”, which he has acted upon.

“He is, has been and will remain a danger,” Crown Advocate Pedley said before moving for a nine-year prison sentence.

Advocate James Bell, defending, acknowledged that Carrel denied the offence and maintained his innocence. He argued that his sentence should be less than suggested, “given the circumstances of the case.” 

He also argued that Carrel’s record of sentences shouldn’t be an aggravating fact in the sentencing, as the facts predated the ones he has already been convicted of.

He urged the Court to take into account Carrel’s “significant poor health”, reminding them that he received “major heart surgery” in recent years. “He is not a young man now,” he told Court.

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Pictured: Advocate James Bell was defending Carrel.

Despite being offered to come back to Court to learn of his sentence, Carrel refused.

The Commissioner - sitting with Jurats Gareth Hughes, Steven Austin-Vautier, Rozanne Thomas, Pam Pitman and Robert Christensen – described his actions as “serious sexual offences committed against a vulnerable female child.”

He described the case as having no mitigating features, but rather “significant aggravating features."

Noting that Carrel had shown “no remorse or comprehension of the impact he has caused”, the Commissioner imposed a nine-year sentence.  

The Court also agreed that Carrel should remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 15 years. Due to the “threat of serious sexual harm” posed by Carrel, he also imposed a restraining order – which will prevent him from being alone with any female child under the age of 18 - for the same period.

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Pictured: The victim in the case and the other woman who gave evidence against Carrel were commended for their courage.

Concluding his address, Mr Clyde-Smith commended the courage of the victim in the case for giving evidence, as well as one of the victims of the English case who came over entirely of her own volition to support the case, saying they had both “assisted greatly in the administration of justice in Jersey.”

His words were echoed by that of Detective Inspector Cathy Davison, who said: “This victim has shown great strength and immense courage throughout this long investigation, she has been supported throughout by a specially trained Sexual Offence Liaison Officer (SOLO) and will receive any further support that is required. 

“Sexual abuse of children is the most detestable of crimes and we will work tirelessly to bring bringing perpetrators to justice, no matter how long ago the offences took place."

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