Angry Stevenage mum calls for law change after sentencing appeal against paedophile headteacher fails
PUBLISHED: 12:02 07 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:28 07 February 2018
A mum whose children were victims of a sexual predator is calling for a change to the law after her appeal against the ‘unduly lenient’ sentence handed to a paedophile headteacher fell at the first hurdle because the Attorney General has no power to step in.
Pervert Miraz Triggs – a former assistant headteacher at Stevenage’s Barnwell School and head of the town’s Da Vinci Studio School of Science and Engineering – was back at Barnwell as a science teacher when police raided his home in Elmdon near Saffron Walden last June and found more than 21,000 indecent images of children on his computer. The 46-year-old had also been sharing indecent images of children in chat rooms.
He pleaded guilty to six offences, and was given an 18 months’ suspended sentence and told to do 50 days rehab activity and 240 hours’ unpaid work.
Former teacher Marilyn Hawes, who lives in Stevenage, set up the charity Enough Abuse UK in 2004 after her three sons were sexually groomed and assaulted by their headteacher.
Last week, she wrote to the Attorney General to appeal against Triggs’ sentence on the grounds it is unduly lenient, but her appeal was rejected.
In a letter from the Attorney General’s Office, it said: “I am sorry to tell you it is not possible to refer this sentence to the Court of Appeal.
“Although the Attorney General and Solicitor General do have the power to ask the Court of Appeal to review certain sentences which appear to them to be unduly lenient, this power only applies to sentences imposed for a limited number of offences which are specified in legislation.
“The offence for which Triggs was sentenced is not an offence to which the scheme applies. It is therefore not possible for them to refer the sentence passed to the Court of Appeal for review. They can only act within the powers given by statute.”
Marilyn said: “I want to know why this falls outside their statute. It is ridiculous. I despair.
“I have contacted all the teachers who supported me across Stevenage and they are outraged at the decision of the appeal. Decisions like this undervalue children and the importance of them staying safe.
“What message is this giving to those of us trying so hard for better outcomes? We had just as well talk to the wall.
“Our so-called support systems are broken and out-of-date and new laws need to be brought in.”