Christopher Daniel walked free from Dumbarton Sheriff Court in a highly unusual move
A sex offender who abused a six-year-old girl has walked free from court with no criminal record – because a punishment would dash his dreams of becoming a dentist.
Christopher Daniel, 18, was found guilty of numerous sexual assaults on the same girl over a two-year period.
But part-time judge Sheriff Gerard Sinclair at Dumbarton Sheriff Court in Scotland gave the teenager an absolute discharge, meaning he’ll have no criminal conviction and will not be put on the sex offenders’ register.
Daily Record reports the young victim’s mum said: “I am absolutely gobsmacked by this. How can he possibly know this?
“He says that my daughter appears not to have suffered any ‘long-lasting effects’. Again, how can he possibly know this? No-one has asked me at any point how my daughter is.”
It has now emerged a conviction would mean Daniel, who first abused his victim in 2016, would “probably be unable to continue his university course”.
The Justice Office for Scotland statement said: “In light of the evidence as to the immaturity of the accused, and the nature of the discussion during which he admitted his actions, the sheriff considered the offence to be the result of an entirely inappropriate curiosity of an emotionally naive teenager rather than for the purpose of sexual gratification.
The accused had appeared both noticeably immature and socially awkward, features confirmed by other evidence in the case.
“It was fortunate that the complainer appeared to have suffered no injury or long lasting effects.”
t said any recorded conviction for the offence would have “serious consequences in terms of the accused’s future career” and any sentence would mean Daniel would “probably be unable to continue his university course”.
The pervert is currently studying to become a dentist.
But thousands have signed a petition calling for a review to this decision.
It reads: “Our system is putting criminals’ careers before our children’s welfare.
“What kind of world do we live in that this is seen as an acceptable decision by the court?
“This decision is wrong. This sets an example for other sexual offenders and for sexual assault victims of what can happen if they come forward.”
Conservative Liam Kerr, Member of Scottish Parliament, raised the case at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, telling Nicola Sturgeon the sheriff’s decision had “devastated” the victim’s family.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I absolutely understand the concerns that have been expressed about what has been reported about this sentence, but the sentencing decision in any criminal case is entirely a matter for the judge.
“The judiciary acts entirely independently on the basis of the facts and circumstances of individual cases. They will take into account a wide range of factors, including the age of the offender and any previous convictions.
“I understand the concerns, but we must protect the principle in this country that sentencing decisions are not a matter for politicians, however controversial and difficult they can be for the public. Sentencing decisions are rightly and properly matters for judges.”