Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford judge spares girl jail for stabbing abuser

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC Image copyright Photoshot
Image caption Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said Boota's sentencing in 2010 had been 'somewhat lenient'

A judge has spared a teenage girl who stabbed the man who sexually abused her as a child from a prison sentence.

The 15-year-old had admitted attacking Zadhullah Boota, who was given a community order in 2010 after he was convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Bradford Crown Court heard she "snapped" after he was not imprisoned.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said jailing her would be "callous and cruel" and it was clear the attack had been motivated by the abuse.

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Sentencing the girl to a two-year youth rehabilitation order, he said he believed Boota had been dealt with "somewhat leniently".

'No question of jail'

"It is self evident that this offence was caused by, and solely relates to, the impact of the offending upon you when you were [a young girl]," he said.

"I hope to be able to help you

"There is no question of locking you up. That would be callous and cruel in the extreme."

The girl, who cannot be identified because of her age, told Boota "I'm going to kill you" before she stabbed him in the stomach in November 2015.

She later handed herself in to police.

'Life destroyed'

The court heard the girl told officers her life had been destroyed by the abuse she had suffered.

She said she felt let down by the justice system when Boota did not go to prison.

The girl, who was originally charged with attempted murder, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on Monday.

Gabrielle Shaw, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, said child abusers are often given "lenient" sentences which can "re-traumatise" their victims.

"We are pleased that Judge Durham Hall has acknowledged the long-term impacts of childhood abuse on this teenager and that the leniency shown by the legal system towards the man who abused her contributed to what she did," she said.

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