Daily Telepraph said:Judge tells paedophile to buy bike for girl, 6
By Laura Clout
Last Updated: 8:09am GMT 03/02/2007
Children's charities have attacked the decision of a judge who freed a paedophile and told him to buy his six-year-old victim a new bicycle to "cheer her up".
Eric Cole, who has a previous conviction for sexually assaulting a child, admitted touching the girl as she played in a garden.
Judge Julian Hall gave the 71-year-old a nine-month suspended sentence and ordered him to pay Â£250 compensation, telling him: "If it buys her a new bicycle, that's the sort of thing that might cheer her up."
advertisementElaine Peace, UK director of children's services for NCH, said: "Any proposal by a serving judge that a sex attack on a child can be compensated by a gift is wholly unacceptable and shows a complete lack of understanding of the severity of the effects of sexual abuse on a child."
Oxford Crown Court heard how the girl's mother interrupted the attack in Barton, Oxon, last July 31.
Cole, from Bedford, was jailed for 15 months in 1998 for assaulting a 12-year-old girl and earlier this year admitted sexual assault on a child under 13.
Judge Hall also ordered him to attend a sexual offenders programme, and banned him from being alone with children under 16 for five years.