Stevenage paedophile headteacher's 'short sentence' prompts town's MP to push for law change
PUBLISHED: 08:47 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:47 17 May 2018
The MP for Stevenage is pushing for a change to the law afer an appeal made against the "short sentence" handed to a paedophile headteacher failed because the Attorney General is powerless to intervene.
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 last June and found more than 21,000 indecent images of children on his computer.
The 46-year-old pleaded guilty to six counts of making, distributing and posessing indecent images of children and extreme pornographic images.
He was given an 18-month suspended sentence and told to do 50 days rehab activity and 240 hours of 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. She wrote to the Attorney General to appeal against Triggs’ sentence on the grounds it is unduly lenient, but her appeal was rejected.
It transpires the Attorney General and Solicitor General are only permitted to refer sentences which seem unduly lenient to the Court of Appeal if they are for ‘indictable only’ offences, and therefore imposed in a crown court.
Triggs was charged with ‘either way’ offences, which means they can be tried in either a magistrates’ court or a crown court. Solicitor General Robert Buckland said: “As such, they are not within the remit of the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme and I am unable to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal.
“These are very serious offences and the fact I am unable to refer them to the Court of Appeal should not be taken as an indication to the contrary.”
Marilyn said: “It’s ridiculous. The statute needs to change and our MP needs to lobby for it.”
Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland said: “I was surprised at the short sentence and took the matter up with both the Solicitor General and Attorney General.
“We were all frustrated they could not intervene. This seems a ridiculous situation to me and I am hoping to have the law amended so they can intervene in such cases in the future.
“I am currently identifying what would be the most successful route to achieve the change.”