There's been an outcry after a prosecutor described a 13 year-old sex abuse victim as "predatory". The Attorney General's investigating the case in which the judge is also being criticised for repeating the comment when he gave paedophile, Neil Wilson, an eight month suspended sentence.
Prosecutor Robert Colover also called the girl "sexually experienced". Now the Crown Prosecution Service is taking action against Mr Colover, who has been pulled from working on similar cases for the time being.
The Crown Prosecution Service says the description was inappropriate and the Attorney General's now reviewing whether the suspended sentence was unduly lenient. Snaresbrook crown court in east London heard that 41 year-old Wilson admitted luring the youngster to his home in Romford in Essex. Caroline Criado-Perez was targeted on Twitter after campaigning for female representation on banknotes.
She said she's concerned the description used by the judge and prosecutor is reflective of sexism in UK society:
"It is just completely appalling and really worrying that we're in the 21st Century and we are still suggesting that victims can be complicit in their abuse which is basically what calling a 13 year-old child a sexual predator is.
"They are a child, they are below the age of consent, we have laws specifically because of this kind of thing.
"This adds to the horror that has happened to her, she's been abused and now we are blaming her for it."
Natalie Williams is the Policy Officer for The Children's Society. She gave her reaction to the comments to Premier's Marcus Jones during the News Hour:
The police were alerted to the actions of Wilson, who now lives in York, after his victim had told a friend.
Mr Colover reportedly told Snaresbrook Crown Court in London:
"The girl is predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced."
Passing sentence, Judge Nigel Peters then said he had taken into account that the girl looked and behaved "a little bit older" than she was. These Premier listeners gave their reaction to the comments:
Wilson admitted two counts of making extreme pornographic images and one count of sexual activity with a child.
More than 25,000 people have signed a petition set up by a campaigner who calls herself 'Jo' working on behalf of sex abuse victims calling for a review of the sentence.
Writing on the Change.org website she said:
"It's unacceptable that the Crown Prosecutor - the person who this young girl was relying on to help get her justice - used this kind of language in court.
"It's a sad fact that this kind of attitude is commonplace within society and the legal establishment. We need to make a stand and send a clear message: It's never the child's fault.
"I'm calling on the Crown Prosecution Service to look at the language used by Robert Colover and meet urgently with our organisation and other groups working with victims of rape and sexual assault to ensure this never happens again."
The NSPCC also said the language is inappropriate. It's Head of Corporate Affairs Alan Wardle said: "It was quite clear in the case the predator was the man who was in the dock, not a 13-year-old child, and it is quite clear that a 13-year-old child cannot be complicit in her own abuse.
"Making sure that judges and barristers in all these cases are properly trained and understand the nature of child sexual abuse and how children are groomed in these sort of cases is important."
Meanwhile, England and Wales's most senior judge has rejected calls for specialist courts to deal with cases of child sexual exploitation- saying they'd be too expensive and create long waiting times. However, judges who take charge of cases involving vulnerable witnesses will receive extra training.