A YOUTH given a potentially lifelong sentence for having sex with an under-age schoolgirl on his 18th birthday has been freed by top judges.
Dale David Michael Trim, now 25, had “consensual sex” with the 13-year-old in Poole Park after a party where they had both been drinking, the Appeal Court heard.
“They spent the rest of the night together at his bedsit,” said Lord Justice Laws.
Trim admitted unlawful sexual activity with the 13-year-old at Bournemouth Crown Court in October 2007, and was ordered to be detained indefinitely for public protection.
He had a previous conviction for indecently assaulting two little girls aged seven and eight when he was 13 years old.
And he was once described as a “predatory paedophile” in a psychiatrist’s report.
Trim was viewed as a “dangerous” offender, and the sentence – which was almost identical to a life term – meant he would only be freed once the Parole Board was convinced the threat he posed to society had passed.
The sentencing judge passed the tough sentence after telling Trim: “I have a nasty feeling that you have paedophile tendencies”.
But Lord Justice Laws said that assessment was “partly based on speculation” and noted that Trim, from Blandford, had made good progress during his six years in custody.
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Globe and Judge Paul Batty QC, said Trim was now seen as presenting a “medium” risk of future harm and that could be managed in the community.
He overturned the indefinite sentence, substituting a two-year community order and strict supervision requirement, with conditions that “he should live as directed by the probation service”.
But Claude Knights, the chief executive officer of children’s charity Kidscape, expressed concern over Trim’s release.
“This individual showed predatory tendencies from an early age and went on to engage in unlawful sexual activity despite earlier convictions,” he said.
“He appears to have attended a treatment programme during his six years in custody, but continues to be assessed as a ‘medium risk’ of causing future harm.
“This is not a reassuring verdict for the community in which he will live.
“It is to be hoped that the supervision and monitoring that he will require will be applied stringently and coherently by the different agencies that will be involved.
“We know only too well how resourceful and devious those with predatory tendencies can become when circumstances make this possible.
“It is imperative that no child is put at risk by the presence of this individual in their community.
“The safety of children is paramount.”