3rd Dec, 2016

Man jailed for a year after sexual assault of Shipston woman

Stratford Editorial 14th Nov, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A MAN who dismissed his sexual assault of a woman in her own home as ‘a bit of a fondle’ has had his claim of being sorry dismissed by a judge as ‘complete artifice’.

And Judge Alan Parker said a probation officer’s ‘withering condemnation’ of David Hughes in a pre-sentence report was a correct assessment of him.

Hughes, who at the time was visiting his daughter and her partner in Shipston, had denied sexually assaulting his victim at her home in the town in December 2013.

But he was convicted after a trial at Warwick Crown Court, and following an adjournment for the report to be prepared, 53 year-old Hughes of Fosse Road South, Leicester, was jailed for 12 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years.

During the trial prosecutor Graeme Simpson said the woman, who is in her 30s, had gone out with a friend in Shipston, and they were in a pub when Hughes and his daughter’s partner, who he was visiting, began to chat to them.

The four of them, and the other woman’s boyfriend, finished up going back to the victim’s home to play some music.

But when all left at around 2am Hughes refused to go and made it plain he was staying.

Although not initially concerned, the victim said there was a “snap change in his behaviour” and he sexually assaulted her.

She managed to break free and ran out into the street, followed by Hughes – but when she threatened to scream, he left.

Following his arrest after he had returned to Leicester, Hughes claimed it had all been consensual, telling officers: “I tried a kiss and a bit of a fondle, but it was all above-board.”

At the resumed hearing Nick Devine, defending, handed in references which he said showed a different picture of Hughes to the one which emerged during the trial, and a letter from Hughes which expressed remorse.

He added Hughes was now estranged from his family because of what happened.

But Judge Parker responded: “The letter I regard as a piece of complete artifice.  It doesn’t sit with the way he presented himself during the trial or to the probation officer.  He has continued to blame her.”

“I have to sentence you for an offence of sexual assault where your victim describes a most frightening event in her own home.

“Throughout the trial your case was that everything that happened was consensual and that she was talking falsehoods.  It turned out she was telling the truth and you were not.

“The pre-sentence report is a withering condemnation of you.  You are described as manipulative and showing no contrition. I’m not surprised by any of that because it’s the view I formed.”

* A TEENAGER from Shipston who had sex with a 13-year-old girl when he was only 15 himself has been given a conditional discharge.

And the youth, who is now aged 18, pleaded guilty to three offences of sexual activity with a child.

The court heard the offences took place in 2012 after they had met through Facebook.

The teenager was told he would not have to sign on the sex offenders’ register.