November 2019

Wales child rapist after judge lifts id banning order

An order banning the public identification of a North Wales sex offender has been lifted by a judge.

Judge Rhys Rowlands was critical of the fact that the prosecution had applied for such an order in the first place.

Magistrates sitting at Llandudno made the order preventing the identification of David Holland at an earlier hearing.

The media protested that the order was invalid and should be rescinded.

Today prosecuting barrister Anna Pope said that the order, applied for by a CPS lawyer at the lower court, was not now being pursued.

Defending barrister Simon Rogers said that there was nothing he could say about the issue.

Judge Rowlands said that at the request of the crown, the magistrates had purported to make an order that the defendant’s name should not be made public.

He described it as “an extraordinary application to make” and added “open justice really is important”.

The judge said that there was no power to withhold Holland’s name unless in the most exceptional circumstances.

Complainants should not be identified but that was a matter for the press with serious ramifications if they went behind such an order.

There was absolutely no reason why Holland’s name should be withheld and said he was slightly surprised the application had been made.

“It ought not to be made by advocates in the future,” the judge added.

Holland, of Prestatyn, appeared from custody at Mold Crown Court this afternoon facing a total of 29 offences of rape, indecent assault, sexual activity with a child, images offences and making a threat to kill.

Holland admitted eight charges – indecent assault, indecency with a child, rape, sexual assault, two counts of taking indecent photographs, making indecent photographs and possessing two prohibited images.

He pleaded not guilty to all other charges and the case was adjourned for trial, which is expected to last five days, to start on April 20 last year.

A pre-trial review will be held in April.

Judge Rowlands remanded him in custody in the meantime.

He told Holland that he would be receiving a custodial sentence for the charges he had already admitted.

The length of that sentence would depend on what happened to the other charges which would be tried next year, the judge said.