Paedophile rapist’s 15-year jail sentence increased for wasting court’s time

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A PAEDOPHILE rapist, who was brought to justice three decades after he preyed on underage girls, has had the time he must serve behind bars increased by top judges.

John Robert Ridley, 62, raped a girl and abused her between the ages of 11 and 14 and also committed sex attacks on another girl who was just seven at the time.

Ridley, of Stephen’s Road, Murton, was jailed for 15 years at Newcastle Crown Court in June 2008.

He was convicted of 10 counts of indecent assault, plus indecency with a child and rape.

Today he asked top judges at London’s Criminal Appeal Court to grant him permission to appeal against his convictions after criticising his legal representation at trial.

But Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Sweeney and Mr Justice Warby said his complaints were groundless and he was wasting the court’s time.

The judges handed him the equivalent of an extra six-month sentence as punishment for bringing his unarguable case to court.

Lady Justice Hallett said: “He was represented by distinguished solicitors and counsel. His trial was entirely fair. This is a hopeless case.

“Despite being warned ... he chose to pursue what in our judgment was a totally unmeritorious application, which has wasted the time of the court.

“Such applications hamper the court’s ability to process meritorious applications. We make a loss of time served order of three months,” the judge concluded.

The loss of time order equates in real terms to an extra six-month sentence being added to Ridley’s existing stretch in prison.