Michael Scholes prosecutes couple for multiple child sex offences

January 22, 2020

Michael Scholes from Exchange Chambers has successfully prosecuted a paedophile couple who molested five young girls and recorded their abuse on their mobile phones. The case was almost entirely based upon the ‘WhatsApp’ chats and phone messaging between the defendants.

Peter Taylor and Keeli Burlingham, both from Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, were ultimately sentenced to 15 and 11 years respectively for their crimes.

Michael Scholes, in opening the case, told the Court:

“Throughout their relationship they downloaded indecent images of children for their personal sexual gratification.  Taylor is a man who obtains sexual gratification from downloading such images. It is obvious he was the prime mover although it is clear from the chat logs we all had the dubious pleasure of having to consider that Keeli Burlingham also obtained sexual stimulation from viewing these images”

The pair were both convicted of arranging or facilitating the commission of a number of child sex offences, inciting other serious sexual offences against children under 13 and a number of sexual assaults of children under 13 as well as offences of taking, making and distributing indecent photographs of a child.

They were initially arrested after downloading 5,035 lurid pictures of youngsters off the internet including 1044 in the most serious category A images but following further investigation their far more serious offending came to light.

Taylor, who was the prime mover  and was convicted of offences after a 3 week trial, was found by the Judge to be a dangerous offender  and was handed 18 years in prison (including 3 years extended licence), whilst  Burlingham was ordered to serve 11 years together with a further period of 1 year extended licence as ‘an offender of particular concern’.

Both were ordered to sign the Sex Offender Register for life and were made subject to Sexual Harm Prevention Orders, also for life.

Michael is a member of the criminal department at Exchange Chambers.