EXCLUSIVE: Pervert who was handed an alcohol ban instead of being jailed for sexually assaulting a woman sparks call for the Secretary of State to step in after justice campaigners brand the punishment ‘Offensive to all victims’
- Geoffrey Holland, 63, was handed an alcohol ban after committing a sex assault
- He escaped jail time and was only given a suspended sentence and drug course
- Justice campaigners said punishment was ‘ludicrous’ and sent wrong message
- Holland carried out attack while already subject to Sex Harm Prevention Order
- Order strictly forbade him having women in his house without police permission
- The SHPO was imposed on him after he carried out an earlier sexual offence
A pervert who sexually assaulted a woman in his home is at the centre of a soft justice scandal – after he was banned him from drinking alcohol as punishment.
Geoffrey Holland, 63, was put on a tag which monitors him constantly to detect alcohol through taking measurements from his sweat.
But justice campaigners reacted in utter disbelief at the ‘ludicrous’ punishment, which came after Holland had sexually assaulted a woman.
One told MailOnline the sentence was ‘offensive to all victims of sexual assault’.
Holland had already been subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order which forbid him from having any women in his Peterborough house without police approval.
The rare order had been imposed on him after he had committed a previous offence.
Geoffrey Holland, 63, was handed an alcohol ban after committing a sex assault on a woman
Justice campaigners said Holland’s sentence was ‘ludicrous’ and sent the wrong message
But police rushed to his £120,000 home after a woman rang a friend at night for help saying he had attacked her on May 4, 2020.
They found Holland and the girl inside and arrested him, before charging him with sexual assault.
On Wednesday he was found guilty of the offence at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court to a year’s suspended sentence.
The only real-term punishment he received was a ban from drinking alcohol, monitored by a tag 24/7 to make sure he complies.
David Spencer, Research Director, Centre for Crime Prevention, told MailOnline: ‘This is obviously a ludicrous punishment that is offensive not only to Holland’s victim but to all victims of sexual assault.
‘The clear message from this sentence is that courts do not take this type of offence seriously, and I would urge the Secretary of State for Justice to urgently look at this case and also consider what changes need to be made so that judges are not able to hand down overly lenient sentences like this for serious sexual offences.’
An alcohol monitoring tag which can tell if its user is drinking by analysing sweat content
Boris Johnson in 2014 holds an alcohol monitoring tag, during the launch of sobriety ‘tag’ programme for people who repeatedly commit alcohol-related crime
The magistrates court case on Wednesday saw Holland given one year in prison, suspended for two years and 30 days rehabilitation activity requirement.
He was also told to complete the Horizons drug programme and 120 days completely alcohol free.
At the time PC Zoe Rogers had said in a press release: ‘When the court system decides on a suspended sentence it is down to us in PPU to manage the sex offender and put things in place which minimises the risk they pose.
‘This is why Holland has been given an alcohol ban and been told to complete the Horizons programme for drug rehabilitation. We know that when he uses these substances the risk he poses increases.
‘The tag will monitor him 24/7 and detect alcohol through taking measurements from his sweat. If this is detected, or if the tag is tampered with, it will breach the sentence and he will be back in front of the courts.’
Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk, can apply for disclosure information through Sarah’s Law.