Following the retrial of the former football coach Bob Higgins, the Victims’ Commissioner has requested that retrials should be allowed in a wider range of child sex abuse cases.
Bob Higgins was recently jailed for crimes of indecently assaulting 24 boys and was sentenced to 24 years and 3 months in June. Bob Higgins was convicted for abusing boys at Southampton FC and Peterborough United between 1971 and 1996. Six complainants were told that their allegations were not serious enough and could not be tried for a second time.
The Victims’ Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird, has requested that retrials should be allowed in a wider range of offences and should include “non-penetrative sexual abuse of children.” She has requested that the list of offences be expanded. Dame Baird had said that “retrials should also be allowed in less serious cases where there was new and compelling evidence and where a retrial would be in the public interest.”
The government-appointed commissioner said
“double jeopardy principle, which stops people being tried twice for the same crime, did not apply in serious cases involving penetration.”
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said:
“The double jeopardy rule exists to ensure that once justice is served, an acquitted defendant cannot be unnecessarily subjected to additional prosecutions.”
One of the victims of Bob Higgins, Dean Radford, whose claim was disallowed for retrial has spoken out how he does not feel he has received justice, even though Bob Higgins is in jail. Mr Radford has stated that:
“Any normal person on the street can see that any child abuse should be deemed serious enough.”
If you have been affected by child abuse and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted on 0800 9555 094 or you can request a call back and someone will contact you.