Sexual assault sentence upheld by Court of Appeal

Court
Court

A Horsham man jailed for sexually molesting two youngsters has failed in an Appeal Court bid to clear his name.

Brian ‘Rupert’ Strotten, 25, of Arthur Road, Horsham, was jailed for 21 months at Lewes Crown Court in March after he was convicted of sexually assaulting the two young boys.

Strotten’s victims were assaulted on separate occasions some years ago, London’s Appeal Court heard today (June 10).

Strotten steadfastly denied their accusations.

His case reached the Appeal Court as he challenged both the jury’s guilty verdicts and his sentence.

His legal team claimed his convictions were ‘unsafe’ because the trial judge had decided to allow jurors to hear unfair ‘hearsay’ evidence from his second victim’s mother.

But Sir Brian Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Kenneth Parker and Mr Justice Stewart, ruled that the trial judge’s decision was justified.

“It is abundantly clear that he analysed the facts in a way that cannot be criticised,” he concluded, dismissing Strotten’s conviction appeal.

Sir Brian agreed that Strotten’s sentence was ‘rather longer’ than it might have been, given his youth at the time of the offences.

However, the judge who jailed him ‘had the benefit of seeing the victims and their families and, most importantly, Strotten himself’.

Sir Brian concluded: “We are not prepared to conclude that his sentence was either wrong in principle or manifestly excessive.”

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