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7th Dec, 2021

Disgraced former policeman given suspended sentence after suicide attempts

A DISGRACED former police sergeant who sexually abused a young girl has been given a suspended sentence after twice trying to commit suicide.

And Timothy Lively, who became a successful businessman after being discharged from the Warwickshire force in 1986, is now in a wheelchair as a result of ploughing his car into a tree.

Lively of Old School Mead, Bidford-on-Avon, had denied a total of 26 charges alleging sexual offences against boys as well as girls between the mid-1970s and the summer of 1986.

Following a 15-week trial, which ended in May 2019, a jury at Warwick Crown Court convicted him of two charges of indecently assaulting a girl in the late 1970s and one of gross indecency with the same girl.

The 62-year-old was found not guilty of nine charges in relation to four boys, but the jury was unable to reach verdicts on the remaining 14 charges.

At the time prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC asked for time to consider whether to ask for a retrial on those outstanding matters – and the court was later told one would be requested.

But after a series of delays, caused largely by Lively making two attempts to take his own life, it was decided not to pursue that in the light of psychiatric reports.

After reading the reports, Judge Anthony Potter ruled Lively was unfit to stand trial on those charges – and ordered them to lie on the court file, ‘not to be proceeded with without the leave of this court or the Court of Appeal.’

The judge outlined: “Following his conviction Mr Lively made first an attempt to take an overdose, and then a couple of days later made a bid to end his life by driving his car at speed into a tree.”

The incidents left Lively confined to a wheelchair, affected his short-term memory, and he was also assessed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychiatrists concluded he would be unable to follow proceedings in a trial or give instructions to his defence team.

And for the offences of which Lively was convicted, Judge Potter sentenced him to 20 months in prison suspended for 18 months, with a curfew for three months, and ordered him to register as a sex offender for ten years.

Lively had committed the offences he was convicted of at a time when he was a serving Warwickshire Police officer or, before that, a cadet, and also carried out voluntary work at a children’s home.

They had involved him going into the bathroom at the home while the girl – aged between 10 and 12 – was in there having a bath when he was about 17.

He had locked the door and touched her breasts, exposed himself and made her touch him, and touched her breast on another occasion when she was 15.

She did not make a complaint, and only revealed what had happened when the police investigating other complaints against him contacted her.

Stephen Vullo QC, defending, said if the judge was considering an immediate prison sentence, the case would have to be adjourned to establish whether the prison could accommodate him appropriately in view of his disabilities.

“Your Honour knows he is in a wheelchair, and will be for life, and has a brain injury which he will have for life. He has to a large extent suffered very significant punishment already.”

He pointed out Lively had spent two months in custody following his second suicide attempt, during which time he was under 24-hour guard after being transferred to a spinal unit.

And he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder because of alleged mocking by the guards over his condition.

Judge Potter told him: I sentence you for offences you committed over 40 years ago and were convicted of over two years ago.

“Your personal circumstances were very different. You came from a loving home, and she was in care at the home where you volunteered. She was particularly vulnerable, something which you quickly identified.

“You befriended her and gained her trust and then sought to exploit that. It began when you were 16 or 17 and in the police cadets. She did it because she was scared and saw you as a figure of authority.

“Not only did she not approach the police, she had not told anyone what you had done to her until the police, as a result of an ongoing investigation, contacted her.

“You were not willing to admit what you had done, which caused a great deal of unpleasant memories to be dredged up, and it has had a continuing impact on her.”

The judge pointed out that now the offences would have a maximum sentence of 14 years and would lead to a ‘starting point’ of six years – but at the time, on which he had to sentence him, the maximum was just five years.

“That means a starting point of 26 months before mitigation, and I bear in mind the medical reports and what I have heard from character witnesses about you.

“The principal features I have to bear in mind are the delay, that you were 16 or 17 at the time, the effective conditions you experienced on remand and your disabilities, both mental and physical.

“To a large extent they were self-inflicted, but it is equally plain that those injuries were as a direct result of your conviction following the false denials you had maintained.

“I am just persuaded, as an act of mercy, that I can suspend the sentence.”

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