Transgender paedophile spared jail
Conservative peer Baroness Nicholson is seeking a sentencing review after a paedophile who identifies as transgender was spared jail.
68-year-old Peter Selby gathered over 125,000 obscene images of child abuse, with more than 2,400 of them being classed as Category A, the most indecent.
Selby, who was born male, admitted to three charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornography.
The judge at Newcastle Crown Court was informed that the paedophile was fearful about facing prison.
Creating indecent images of children carries a maximum ten-year prison sentence – but Selby was handed a 14-month sentence, which has been suspended for two years.
Recorder Geraldine Kelly said: "You identify as transgender and that has caused issues for you and anxiety for you in how you would cope with that if you were sent immediately to prison... the impact of custody would be significant for you in the circumstances."
The judge overlooking the case announced she was suspending the sentence as Selby has sought counselling since being arrested in 2019, and was assessed in a pre-sentence report as being "manageable in the community".
The paedophile was ordered to sign the Sex Offender's Register and follow a ten-year sexual harm prevention order.
The suspended sentencing has sparked outrage among the general public, with Conservative Peer Baroness Nicholson seeking an immediate review of the case.
Baroness Nicholson condemned the decision as a "disregard" for child safety and speculated whether the judge had "overlooked" matters of child protection by issuing a suspended sentence.
She said: "We have a monstrous track record on child abuse, child pornography and child trafficking today.
"The State is a poor parent and this case demonstrates to me – and I am sure to others – a level of disregard for children that goes aggressively against the law, our customs and practice. I feel very strongly indeed about this."
Attorney General Suella Braverman has received mounting complaints regarding the issue, calling for the sentencing to be reviewed.
Selby admitted to owning the images, but claimed to be "shocked" at the vast number amassed.