A judge did say he would pay a teenage girl’s victim surcharge after she stabbed the man who had sexually assaulted her

Published: 10th Oct 2019

In brief

Claim

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall refused to jail a 15 year-old girl that stabbed a paedophile with a kitchen knife who had been abusing her since she was eight. The charge was grievous bodily harm with intent. He fined the girl then offered to pay the fine for her.

Conclusion

Mostly correct. The girl stabbed a man who had sexually assaulted her when she was eight. The judge did give her a two year youth rehabilitation order, but told her that he would pay the victim surcharge himself if she was ordered to.

A post shared nearly 100,000 times on Facebook claims to show a picture of a judge who refused to a jail a 15 year-old girl who stabbed a man who’d abused her. Instead, it says, the judge fined the girl, then offered to pay the fine for her.

This really did happen and the case was widely reported a few years ago, although some of the details in the Facebook post are not quite right. The man in the picture is Jonathan Durham Hall QC. In 2016, he chose not to jail a 15 year-old girl who had stabbed a man who had sexually assaulted her when she was eight years-old. The man who had assaulted her had been given a community order in 2010 after being convicted.

The girl pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and was given a two year youth rehabilitation order, and told to pay a victim surcharge (which defendants are ordered to pay when they’re sentenced—it’s different to a fine). During sentencing, the judge said he would pay the victim surcharge himself if she was forced to pay it.

The judge was investigated by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, which said his comments “amounted to misconduct”. He was issued “with formal advice”, which is the least severe disciplinary action the office can take.

This article is part of our work factchecking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as true as most of this is correct.

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