Disabled man who had sex with boy avoids jail
A DISABLED Northwich man who had sex with a teenage boy without telling him he had HIV, escaped a jail term for a second time at London’s Appeal Court.
Michael Fielder, 52, originally received a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, in February this year after admitting committing an act of gross indecency with the boy, But Fielder, of Winnington Lane, was summoned to the Appeal Court on Thursday as the nation’s top law officer – the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC – called for an increase in the unduly lenient’ sentence.
Lord Goldsmith’s lawyers claimed a suspended sentence was inappropriate in a case where Fielder had taken advantage of a 15-year-old boy and not informed him that he had HIV.
The boy, who agreed to have sex with Fielder and later came out as openly gay’, also subsequently became HIV-positive.
Fielder was at one point charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent over claims that he infected the teenager but that charge was thrown out by the judge at the original charge.
And Fielder pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on the basis that he was not responsible for infecting the boy. A condom had been worn during the episode, the court was told.
The offence occurred seven years ago when Fielder was running a hotel in Blackpool. There was no element of coercion in the sex act between them, and the teenager played the dominant role.
At the time of the offence, the teenager was just short of his 16th birthday and Fielder’s crime pre-dated the 2001 Sexual Offences Act, which reduced the age of homosexual consent from 18 to 16.
Lord Justice Latham – sitting with Mr Justice Royce and Mr Justice Ramsey – said a nine-month jail term would normally have been called for.
But given Fielder’s failing health – he is now partially quadriplegic’ – and the fact the grievous bodily harm charge had hung over him’ for some time before being thrown out – a suspended sentence was now appropriate, the judge concluded.
At the time of the original court case, Fielding ran the Sauna Sauna gay club at the former ICI Winnington site.