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Anger as pervert pensioner shown mercy
ONE of Louis Poyner’s victims has hit out at the judge’s decision to show the sex offender compassion. Judge Jarvis was asked to have ‘mercy’ upon the pensioner because of his age and the fact he has cancer.
The judge told the court that guidance says criminals over 80 should only be sent to prison ‘as a last resort’.
In mitigation, Tim Shorter said that Poyner had ‘suffered significantly’ already because of the loss of his ‘good name’.
He added: “He is someone who, on the face of it, has lived a blameless life, except for these serious transgressions.
“Society will gain nothing except punishment by sending him to prison and will probably impose upon itself a very significant burden.
“He is not a well man. He is clearly someone who is going to tax the prison authority.
“I would ask what benefit to society would be achieved?”
But Mr Shorter also added that Poyner had ‘not come to terms’ with his convictions.
He said: “He still maintains vigorously and determinedly that he didn’t do what the jury convicted him of doing.”
In court, Judge Jarvis had told Poyner that his victims wanted him to go to jail.
He said: “They feel that you have gotten away with it.
“That you have led a life, until now, unaffected by your actions.
“Their lives have been affected throughout by what it is they had to endure when still young boys. Understandably they feel only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”
But he said that there was guidance from ‘higher courts’ which said people over 80 should be shown ‘mercy’ when it comes to imprisonment.
Imposing the suspended sentence, he told Poyner: “It seems to me, with those remarks from higher courts, that I can express mercy to someone of your age.
“I can show you the sort of compassion that you didn’t show to your victims.”
Speaking after the sentencing, the victim said Poyner’s continued denial made him a ‘very, very selfish man’.
He said: “I was hoping that Poyner would get a custodial sentence after he was found guilty of these awful offences on very young children.
“However, I am sure his life has been very different since he was arrested in 2012, and knowing that his family now realise that he has been living a sordid double life for many decades as a paedophile.
“I believe that the reason Poyner did not give us any compassion is because he refuses to admit guilt.
“I also believe that the judge should also not give Poyner any compassion due to the severity of his actions.”
“Poyner has shown us no mercy whatsoever. Unfortunately, he will still not be honest with himself after all this time and even after being found guilty.”
JURY problems meant it took months longer and cost thousands more than expected to bring paedophile pensioner Louis John Poyner to justice – and he was free to walk from court. One of the sex offender’s victims said he had hoped the 86-year-old would go to jail after living a ‘sordid double life for many decades as a paedophile’.
He said Poyner, of Love Lane, Weymouth, had not shown his victims any mercy and should not have been given any by the judge.
The pensioner was convicted of four counts of indecency with a child last month.
He was sentenced to a two year suspended sentence – six months for each count.
The court heard that Poyner abused two boys, aged between seven and 11, on his allotment in Weymouth in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
But it took months longer at an undisclosed cost to convict the sex offender, because of issues with jurors. Poyner’s trial, at Dorchester Crown Court, had to be re-started three times, costing thousands of pounds. Judge Roger Jarvis put a reporting restriction on the proceedings until the case was finished. But now the Echo can exclusively reveal what happened in court.
Complications with the jury meant two trials were halted
POYNER originally appeared for trial in May.
But in the first trial attempt the jury had to be discharged near to the beginning of the evidence.
But a bigger disruption was to come when, during the second trial, after hearing three days of evidence and retiring to consider the verdict, a juror sent a letter to Judge Roger Jarvis.
In it, she expressed concern at the way in which other jurors were reaching their verdict.
She said: “I would like to be released from this court.
“As 12 people, literally picked from the street, we are a group, as you are aware, of having varying levels of education, personal interests and knowledge of criminal law and to ask jurors to suspend beliefs is almost an impossible task.”
She added: “I do not want to be associated with the outcome of this case. I understand this process has existed for a long time but that doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t sit comfortably with my conscience and values and therefore I am asking to be released.”
Stephen Parish, prosecuting, said the trial needed to be abandoned because the jury were ‘not trying the case on the evidence’.
He said: “This juror is not the person to be released on the basis of this note, but it’s the other 11.”
He added: “This is a jury who are not trying the case on the evidence, whichever way they go. And my submission is this jury should be discharged.”
Tim Shorter, representing Poyner, agreed.
He said: “We have got one or more of the other 11 who are clearly going against Your Honour’s directions in the way juries are supposed to view a case.”
After hearing from counsel, Judge Jarvis said: “I think you are both right. When I read the letter in my chambers, I was extremely anxious.”
Calling the jury back in to court, he told them: “I have learned of concerning matters and because of the sanctity of the jury room, I am not able to examine further.
“I have no alternative but to discharge you from making a verdict in this case.”
Jurors can claim for travel expenses, food and refreshments and loss of earnings during their time in court. For up to four hour’s jury service for the first 10 days of a trial, they can claim £32.47 loss of earnings.
They can also claim 31.4p per mile travel in a car and £5.71 a day for food, if away from home for less than 10 hours. More than 10 hours and this is increased to £12.17.
Based on these figures, jury expenses alone for the collapsed second trial cost £1,168.92.
It would have cost around the same amount for juror expenses for the trial in which Poyner was convicted - making a total of more than £2,300. This amount does not take in to account prosecution costs, court staffing and running costs or Poyner’s defence costs.
When the Echo tried to get more information about the exact cost of the trials, our request under the Freedom of Information Act was refused by the Ministry of Justice. It said it did have the details but it would take too much time and money to provide the answers. The law allows it to decline a request which it estimates would take a member of staff more than three days of work to answer.
Around 1.5m defendants pass through the UK legal system each year, with the cost expected to reach £665.5m this financial year.
Sentencing pensioners ‘complex & distressing’
CLAUDE Knights, director of Kidscape, said sentencing elderly convicts is ‘complex issue’ but the pain of the victims can’t be ignored.
She said: “These cases are very distressing because we know that the victims have carried their pain for so long and have no doubt relived their ordeal countless times.
“Having reached a point when they could disclose details of the incident the least that they deserve is to obtain some closure.
“Sentencing an offender who is elderly and in poor health is a complex matter, but the severe consequences of sexual abuse on the victims' lives cannot be ignored.
“It is hoped that this individual has been able to show true remorse, that he is being monitored by the appropriate agencies, and that he understands that a custodial sentence would have been appropriate.”
Verdict is based on the evidence
AT THE beginning of a trial, the jury are told to base their verdict purely on the evidence they hear in court.
They are told to only discuss proceedings with each other and that their discussions are private to them, the jury. They are told not to look up anything to do with the case on the internet or talk about the case on social media sites.
Before the jury retires to consider its verdict the judge re-iterates the instruction that they must base their conclusions on the evidence alone.
A jury consists of 12 people aged between 18 and 70 taken from the electoral roll.
Under the Contempt of Court Act it is illegal for a court to seek information about what has gone on in the jury room. Jury problems hit national headlines earlier this year when the trial of Vicky Pryce, who was accused of perverting the course of justice.
Jurors sent a list of questions to the judge and had to be discharged because some of the questions from the jury had shown a “fundamental deficit in understanding” of its role. Pryce was later convicted.