Hatfield woman slams new sentence for jailed paedophile

A COURAGEOUS Hatfield woman has criticised the lenient sentence given to a jailed peadophile - after he pleaded guilty to two new charges of sex attacks on children.

Hatfield mum Tracy Lawrence this week congratulated the two victims who brought charges against her former abuser Colin Wray – but criticised the lenient sentence handed out to him, which will not see him serve any additional time behind bars.

Tracy herself suffered abuse while in the care of Wray, 61, of Gorham Drive, St Albans, between the ages of eight and 14, on camping holidays around Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Great Yarmouth.

In December 2009, the mum-of-five waived her right to anonymity to speak exclusively to the Welwyn Hatfield Times about her ordeal – and to encourage others who might have endured similar abuse not to stay silent.

And her plea worked, for last week Wray was back at St Albans Crown Court for further sentencing, having pleaded guilty to two additional charges of sexual offences against children.

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But he was sentenced to just 15 months for each crime, to run concurrently with his current four-year sentence.

It is likely he will be released on licence in December, having served just two years.

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Detective constable Becky Crudgington said the new charges came as a direct result of Tracy’s bravery and the subsequent media coverage.

“We are really pleased that these two victims found the courage to come forward as a result of reading media coverage – including in the Welwyn Hatfield Times – of the earlier case against him.

“We hope they will now be able to put this behind them and move on with their lives.”

But Tracy said: “I’m glad that by coming forward I’ve helped these people, but it does feel like there’s no real justice for them. He’s not getting a longer sentence.”

The 38-year-old added she had no regrets about going public.

“I feel brilliant,” she said. “I’m a much stronger person. I’m able to talk to people about it now, and I think if I hadn’t done the story and it hadn’t appeared on the front page, then these people might not have come forward.”

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