Today, the Court of Appeal in Jersey has rejected the applications for leave to appeal against conviction and sentence by two defendants who were convicted of sexual assaults as part of Jersey’s historic child abuse inquiry.
The applications for leave to appeal were heard over two days (Tuesday 19 January and Thursday 21 January 2010) before a panel consisting of Dame Heather Steel, the president of the court, Clare Montgomery QC and Michael Jones QC.
After two trials Claude James Donnelly was convicted on 18 June 2009 of five counts of rape, 13 counts of indecent assault and one count of procuring an act of gross indecency. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on 21 August 2009.
Gordon Claude Wateridge was convicted on 20 August 2009 of 11 counts of indecent assault and one count of common assault. He was sentenced on 21 September 2009 to two years imprisonment.
Advocate Michael Preston, appearing for both Mr Donnelly and for Mr Wateridge, applied for leave to appeal on the grounds of abuse of process. In the case of Mr Wateridge, Advocate Preston claimed the jury should have been discharged because of the late disclosure of emails between two complainants. Advocate Preston’s application for leave to appeal against Mr Wateridge’s sentence cited his age, his low-risk of reoffending and his ill health. For both men, their lawyer claimed the jail terms handed down had been “manifestly excessive” – a claim rejected by the Court of Appeal.
In a judgement lasting forty-five minutes the Court of Appeal panel said they were satisfied that both men had received fair trials and therefore their convictions and sentences stood.
Notes to editors
1. The text of the full judgement will be available to view on www.jerseylaw.je the week commencing 25 January 2010.
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