‘Justice has been served’, says the father of one of convicted sex offender Stephen Wilkinson’s victims after the Court of Appeal quashed his suspended sentence and sent him to jail on Wednesday (February 10).
Twenty-four-year-old Wilkinson, of School Lane in Elton, was spared an immediate custodial sentence in November last year after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of inciting sexual activity with a child under 16 and one count of abducting a child – offences which related to three teenage girls.
Instead he was handed a 21-month sentence suspended for two years, which Lord Justice Treacy declared unduly lenient.
The dad of Wilkinson’s third victim told the Chronicle he was ‘outraged’ by the original punishment and lodged a request that the sentence be examined by the Attorney General’s Office.
His daughter was 14 when she and Wilkinson started seeing each other.
Concerned by the relationship, her father took out a child abduction notice against Wilkinson, which he signed.
But they continued seeing each other and his neighbours spotted the girl inside his van two months later.
He was arrested and charged for being in breach of the notice.
The dad – who cannot be named for legal reasons – said: “He has got what he deserves.
“He should have gone to prison in the first place, he was laughing at the system.
“You cannot do what he has done and then walk away scot-free.
“Justice was not served properly in December but now, justice has been served.”
He added that his daughter has had a ‘lot of issues’ as a result of her relationship with Wilkinson but is ‘relieved’ that he is now in prison.
Victim's family thank police
He has praised Det Con Stewart Greene, from Cheshire Constabulary, who led the investigation.
“The officer who dealt with this, Stewart Greene, has been very good with my daughter,” he said.
“He made her feel safe.
“We have been there for her and the police have as well.”
Wilkinson’s first victim was just 13 when he began a relationship with her. Within weeks, the relationship became sexual and she fell pregnant at 15, but had an abortion.
He then began another relationship with a 13-year-old girl. He kissed her and asked if he could perform a sexual act on her, but she refused.
“What has happened has happened,” the father of the third victim added.
“Maybe what we have gone through, he will now go through.”
If you are concerned that someone you know may be at risk of child sexual exploitation please contact Cheshire police on 101.
Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.