Serial Bridlington rapist wins appeal to have sentence reduced

Paul Tyler.
Paul Tyler.

A SERIAL rapist who showed no mercy as he preyed on countless children and adults with learning difficulties has seen his prison sentence altered to allow him out onto the streets earlier.

Paul Tyler, 52, was last month sentenced to 16 years in prison for committing a sickening catalogue of sex offences over a period of 11 years. His victims included a 30-year-old man with learning difficulties, three boys aged 17, 15 and 13 and a 10-year-old girl.

He thought he would only serve eight years in prison, half of the 16 years sentence he received, under the Government’s early release scheme because of prison overcrowding - but while sat in his Hull Prison cell he was told that rule only applies to modern sex offenders.

Back again at Hull Crown Court on Friday September 14, Tyler, formerly of Haslemere Avenue, Bridlington, made an appeal for his sentence to be shortened on one of the rape charges which happened before 2004 - for that one rape alone he would have to serve 10 years of a 12 year sentence, instead of eight.

On the third-day of his trial, after putting some of his victims through the ordeal of recalling his abuse, he changed his plea to guilty and admitted 22 offences: seven counts of rape of a child, three counts of rape of an adult, one count of indecent assault on an adult, two counts of sexual activity on an adult, six counts of sexual activity on a child, one count of sexual assault on a child and two counts of possessing extreme pornography.

This was on the understanding that he would spend eight years in prison, however, after the hearing, Tyler was shocked to realise his sentence would be longer - as one of the rapes he admitted to was committed before 2003, before new sentencing guidelines came into force.

Barrister David Gordon said it was his fault that Tyler thought he would be given early release at the point of eight years, and that Tyler was upset to learn he would remain in jail for a further two years on the one charge of rape committed before 2003.

Mr Gordon said he advised Tyler to plead guilty to the rape not realising the early release rules would be different and that he had wrongly assured Tyler, who suffers from cancer, he would only serve eight years.

Prosecutor Patrick Palmer said had Tyler pleaded not guilty to that one count of rape, but guilty to 19 other charges then the Crown would probably have accepted it.

Tyler groomed some of his victims, who he preyed upon outside East Riding College in Bridlington. by pretending to recruit them to sell pornographic DVDs, before locking the door and raping them in the back of his van. He was caught after one victim told staff about his ordeal and his van was spotted outside the college.

Judge Simon Jack agreed to change his sentence on the one rape offence to bring it into line with the others.

He said: “I’m satisfied in this case there was an oversight when the defendant was considering pleading guilty to the allegations on this indictment and that oversight is no fault of the defendant’s.

“I’m satisfied that had the possible anomaly been spotted, the defendant may well have pleaded not guilty to count two of rape or he would have offered to plead guilty to the same offence at a later date, which would have been treated differently in terms of the early release provisions.

“In these circumstances, I accept there maybe a reasonable and genuine sense of injustice on his part in finding he may have to serve an extra two years in prison.”