The attorney general is to review the sentence of a convicted paedophile who escaped jail after his 13-year-old victim was described in court as a "sexual predator" who had "egged him on".

Neil Wilson, 41, was given an eight-month jail term suspended for two years after pleading guilty to sexual activity with a child at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

In court, prosecutor Robert Colover described the girl as "predatory in all her actions" and "sexually experienced".

Upon sentencing, judge Nigel Peters told Wilson that he had "come as close to prison as is imaginable" but took into account that the 13-year-old looked and behaved older than she was and "was predatory and egging you on".

The judge and the lawyer involved in the case have been criticised for their "inappropriate comments" about the victim.

The Attorney General's Office has said it is now looking at whether Wilson's suspended sentence was unduly lenient.

A spokesperson added the sentence will be considered by a law officer (the Attorney or Solicitor General) who will decide whether it should be referred to the Court of Appeal under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

Discussing the comments made by Colover in court, a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesperson said: "The language used by prosecution counsel was inappropriate. The transgressor in this case was the defendant and he bears responsibility for his criminal acts."

Alan Wardle, head of corporate affairs at children's charity NSPCC, described the comments by the judge as "completely inappropriate".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It was quite clear in the case the predator was the man who was in the dock, not a 13-year-old child.

"And it's quite clear that a 13-year-old child cannot be complicit in her own abuse.

"It's good this case has quite quickly come to public attention and has been referred to the attorney general who seems to be doing something about it."

Alison Worsley, of children's charity Barnardo's, said: "It is plain wrong to imply in any way that the experiences of sexually exploited children are something they bring on themselves.

"It is difficult to imagine the torment experienced by the vulnerable victims of crimes such as these."

Never the child's fault

An e-petition asking the CPS to investigate the comments has gained more than 5,000 signatures since news of Wilson's suspended sentence broke.

The petition was started by a woman named Jo who described herself as a "survivor of childhood sexual abuse".

She added: "It's unacceptable that the Crown Prosecutor - the person who this young girl was relying on to help get her justice - used this kind of language in court. It's a sad fact that this kind of attitude is commonplace within society and the legal establishment. We need to make a stand and send a clear message: it's never the child's fault.

"I'm calling on the Crown Prosecution Service to look at the language used by Robert Colover and meet urgently with our organisation and other groups working with victims of rape and sexual assault to ensure this never happens again."

Wilson, formerly of Romford, Essex, pleaded guilty to two counts of making extreme pornographic images and one count of sexual activity with a child.

The court heard how he lured the teenager into his home and watched her strip out of her school uniform before she performed a sex act on him.

When officers searched his home after a friend of the girl told police about the incident, officers also found a collection of images and videos containing child abuse as well as bestiality.

As well as the suspended sentence, Wilson has been banned from contacting children, ordered to attend a sex offenders' programme and allow police to examine his computer. He will also be supervised by the Probation Service for the next three years.

Read: Lawyer Defends Sexual Predator Comments as 'It Takes Two To Tango'