Author Archives: Sara Williams

About Sara Williams

Barrister specialising in criminal defence.

Loren Morris jailed for having sex with 8 year old boy over 50 times

Paedophile: Loren Morris, 21, was sentenced to prison after a court found that she had slept with a child 50 times

Loren Morris has been sentenced to imprisonment for two years having been convicted following trial of three counts of sexual activity with a child.  She was also made the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, preventing her from contacting a child under the age of 16 without the consent of the child’s parents.  She was placed on the Sexual Offences Register, where her details will remain for ten years.

HHJ Juckes QC’s sentencing remarks are not available, and so we are reliant on the tabloids for the facts of the case.  It is said that Morris, now aged 21 and a mother, engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim over 50 times in a two year period.  The abuse commenced when Morris was 16 years old, and the victim was 8.  It is said that the victim “bragged” about the offences at school, which led the school to inform the police.

Legislation

Section 9 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 sets out the offence:

9 Sexual activity with a child

(1) A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if–

(a) he intentionally touches another person (B),

(b) the touching is sexual, and

(c) either–

(i) B is under 16 and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over, or

(ii) B is under 13.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section, if the touching involved–

(a) penetration of B’s anus or vagina with a part of A’s body or anything else,

(b) penetration of B’s mouth with A’s penis,

(c) penetration of A’s anus or vagina with a part of B’s body, or

(d) penetration of A’s mouth with B’s penis,

is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(3) Unless subsection (2) applies, a person guilty of an offence under this section is liable–

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

Sentencing Guidelines

The sentencing guidelines for the offence can be found here (at page 53).

It appears that the sentencing Judge placed the offence into the second bracket of the guidelines, with a starting point of 2 years and a range of 1 to 4 years.

Comment

We know little of the mitigation put forward, and the Judge’s sentencing remarks have not been published, but the Judge was reported as having said:

“I make no secret of the fact your case has given me cause for much consideration.

I have come to the conclusion that due to the concern and embarrassment caused to both you and your family that you will not be offending again, let alone committing sexual offences.

I am also aware of the effect this will have on your baby. I am pleased to hear your parents have started to build bridges with you.

That does not stop the fact though that you had full sexual intercourse with a child when he was eight to
10 years old – by his evidence it was upwards of fifty times.

It seems to me that I am bound to pass an immediate custodial sentence. I take into account what has been said to me and the fact that you stopped the activity yourself.

You realised it was wrong rather than being caught and forced to stop. Therefore my sentence is one of two years. You will serve 12 months in prison before being released on licence.”

It seems likely that this was Morris’s first offence.  Having contested the offences at trial should wouldn’t have received any credit for a guilty plea.  The Guideline notes the following:

The culpability of the offender will be the primary indicator of offence seriousness, and the nature of the sexual activity will provide a guide as to the seriousness of the harm caused to the victim.

Other factors will include:
• the age and degree of vulnerability of the victim – as a general indication, the younger the child, the more vulnerable he or she is likely to be, although older children may also suffer serious and long-term psychological damage as a result of sexual abuse;
• the age gap between the child and the offender;
• the youth and immaturity of the offender; and
• except where it is inherent in an offence, any breach of trust arising from a family relationship between the child and the offender, or from the offender’s professional or other responsibility for the child’s welfare, will make an offence more serious.

Morris’s defence barrister made reference to her “immaturity”; it’s likely that she would have been sentenced more leniently given the fact that the offending commenced when she was a child herself, albeit the disparity between her age (16 years old at the start of the offending) and the age of the victim (8 years old) is likely to have been an aggravating feature.  It’s also notable that the Judge referred to the fact that Morris “realised it was wrong”, which suggests that this was something she came to recognise, rather than something that she knew all along.  Again, we can speculate that this may reflect back to her immaturity, as referred to by her counsel.

It’s been reported that Morris’s barrister mitigated for a community order or suspended sentence.  On the face of it, even with a first time offender, a community penalty would be a very lenient sentence.  Custodial sentences of up to two years can be suspended, and so it’s understandable that defence counsel would be seeking such a sentence, particularly given the fact that Morris has a child which, presumably, she is carer for.  In my view it’s understandable that the Judge did not suspend the sentence; offences of this nature will usually warrant a custodial sentence.

Questions have been asked as to whether she received a more lenient sentence because she is a female. In our experience the view that female offenders receive lesser sentences than male offenders committing the same offence does not stand up to scrutiny. A sentence has to reflect all of the factors including (as is common with female offenders) the fact that they are the primary carer of children, which may be cause for reducing a sentence. It appears that Morris was sentenced firmly within the guidelines (and so there is little to suggest she benefited from a more lenient sentence on the basis she is a female). It’s unlikely we’ll see an appeal in this case.

Notorious gang member Sean Bradish faces further life sentences having committed another spate of robberies

Sean Bradish, 46, is facing another life sentence following the commission of four armed raids between April and September 2012.

Bradish poses with champagne after a spate of robberies in 2002

photo courtesy of BBC News

The first life sentences

Bradish was originally convicted in 2001, following a trial, of four offences; conspiracy to rob, 2 offences of having a firearm with intent to commit robbery and an offence of having an imitation firearm with intent to commit robbery.  He was sentenced to three automatic life sentences, to run concurrently, with two years concurrent for the imitation firearm.  The sentencing judge fixed a notional determinate sentence of 15 years and a specified minimum term of six years and seven months, having taken into account the 10 months he spent on remand prior to trial.

The second life sentences

A second trial took place in 2002, where Bradish was convicted of four offences; conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to commit robbery, and two offences of robbery.  He received four life sentences, to run concurrently.  The sentencing judge fixed a notional determinate sentence of 28 years, and a specified period of 13 years and 5 months’ imprisonment, having taken into account time on remand.  In sentencing, Judge Forrester said:

“The robberies themselves were carried out with ruthless efficiency and determination, usually to the terror of the public, who were threatened with guns, forcing the staff to hand over money. Not only the public, but the bank staff and the guards manning security vehicles, you made victims of all of them.

… It can be said … that no one was seriously, physically injured — and I stress physically — that is true, although a firearm was discharged on one occasion. You had no need to discharge your loaded firearms … The reason you had no need was because you got what you wanted by the threats at the point of a gun.”

Steven Roberts, a fellow member Bradish’s gang, gave evidence against Bradish in these earlier trials and received a reduced sentence of 8 years.  He gave an insight into the offending in an interview with The Observer in 2002:

‘I first met the Bradish brothers in 1993 when I was drinking in a pub off the Stonebridge Estate [a notorious north London area] which was frequented by at least 18 well-known armed robbers. I was making a living from robbing drug dealers, something I’d started with a couple of old school friends a few years earlier.

‘We had become quite sophisticated. I’d got hold of a police badge and walkie-talkie. I would knock on the dealer’s door, show them the badge, explain there had been an accident, and ask if I could use their phone because my radio wasn’t working.

‘As soon as they opened up a bunch of us would rush in, tie them up and threaten them at gunpoint until they told us where the drugs and money were.

‘It was a good living. One time we came away with £46,000 in cash, another time we got a kilo of cocaine. It was the perfect crime because they couldn’t go to the police.’

‘He [Bradish] asked if I wanted to come along on the robbery and I agreed. We parked around the back of the Thomas Cook in Edgware. He went in first and I followed, locking the door behind me. Sean then shouted at the cashier: “Open the fucking door!” She turned round and said “Oh God, not you again” – he’d already robbed the place five times before.

‘We were in there for less than 20 seconds and came away with £24,000. It was incredible.’

‘After that we’d go to the nearest shop and buy a whole new outfit. Everything we had [worn during the robbery] would be thrown away so there would be no forensic evidence. We always bought designer clothes – everything had a label.

‘Then it would be off to the pub for a bit of dinner. By 6pm we’d start taking the cocaine and then go out. We wouldn’t be back until Monday morning, and would easily spend £3,000 on drink and drugs over the weekend. Sometimes we would do two robberies a week.’

In 2012 Bradish was released from prison and raided four banks across London between April and September 2012.  In each raid he brandished an imitation gun and left each bank with over £40,000.

The third life sentences

On 14th February 2014 at the Old Bailey, Bradish pleaded guilty to six robberies, one attempted robbery, and seven counts of possession of an imitation firearm with intent.  Judge Nicholas Cooke QC adjourned sentence until February 20, but warned Bradish that he will receive an automatic life sentence.  See the Evening Standard news report for more details.

Sentencing comments courtesy of Westlaw

interview quotations courtesy of The Observer

Former teacher at Nick Clegg’s school dies hours before sentenced for sex offences

Hugh Henry, 82, a former teacher at Caldicott Preparatory School has died just hours before he was due to be sentenced for historic sex offences.

Hugh Henry was found dead just 36 hours before he was due to be sentenced for sex crimesPhoto INS

Henry was due to be sentenced on 6th February for gross indecency with a child, an offence which he admitted.

It is believed that Henry jumped in front of a train in Buckinghamshire.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Fellow teacher John Addrison, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of indecency with or towards a child, and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, at Aylesbury Crown Court in November 2012.  He will remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Ex-headteacher of the school, Peter Wright, was convicted of ten charges of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.  The jury sitting at Amersham Crown Court found that he had abused five boys between the ages of 8 and 13 between 1959 and 1970. He was sentenced on Thursday to eight years imprisonment.  He will also remain on the sex offenders’ register for life.

In sentencing Wright, Judge Johannah Cutts QC said:

“These offences were so serious that it is beyond question that only a custodial sentence can be justified.  I have to sentence you for multiple offending against each of these victims.  This was prolonged activity, the boys were groomed by a master at a school responsible for their care.”

“I heard evidence that you were an inspirational teacher, both of French and of rugby. You taught French and also coached sport, predominantly, rugby.  You were clearly charismatic and charming to boys and parents alike but there was a darker side to your tuition of these boys.Boys craved your attention and strove for your praise. From those, you picked out boys for your individual sexual attentions.”

Jurors at Wright’s trial were told that he was at the centre of a paedophile ring at the school.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, is one of the former-pupils of the school.  Following Wright’s conviction, he said “I am shocked and appalled by the gross betrayal of trust and violation of childhood innocence that has been shown to have taken place at Caldicott.”

More on the sex offenders’ register can be found here

More on historical sexual abuse allegations can be found here

6 January 2014 – the day the Bar came together to fight for justice

On Monday 6th January the Criminal Bar staged a mass walk-out.  Up and down the country barristers, solicitors and members of the public campaigned outside Magistrates’ Courts and Crown Courts against the proposed legal aid cuts.  Cuts that will cripple the system.  Cuts that will mean many innocent people will go unrepresented, or worse still will be represented by inexperienced, poorly prepared advocates.  Cuts that will mean many lawyers are forced into other jobs in order to pay the bills.

 

I campaigned outside the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.  I did so not because of how these cuts will affect me personally, but because of how they will affect us all.

 Picture: The Guardian

I’m not a criminal, so I won’t be affected, right?

Wrong. 

The police don’t always get it right.  They don’t always arrest the person guilty of the crime.  Sometimes innocent people get dragged into the system.  What if that person is you?  You’re sat in a cold damp cell waiting for your top notch solicitor to swoop in and get you out of there.  What if she never comes?  Take away legal aid and those innocent people have to pay for a barrister or solicitor to represent them at Court.  Of course they could choose to self-represent, but that’s a bit like attempting surgery on yourself having watched a couple of episodes of Doctors. Besides, what if you say the wrong thing in interview and the police twist your words to make it look like you’re guilty?  Can you get yourself out of that muddle?  No.  But your solicitor probably can.

Even if they do arrest the right person, what if that right person is you?  You think it will never happen but can you honestly say you have never broken the law?  Never driven a fraction over the speed limit?  Never had one too many beers and ended up causing a bit of a scene in the local pub?  Never defended yourself a little too forcefully and ended up giving someone a black eye?  Never smoked a joint?  Never stolen a packet of sweets? 

The cuts mean that fewer and fewer individuals will be eligible for legal aid.  Those who earn over £36,000, or who have a partner who does, will not be eligible.  They will either have to represent themselves or pay for a barrister or solicitor to do so.  This could cost them a small fortune.  I don’t charge excessive private fees, but I’ve got to pay my bills just as you do, and quite simply legal aid fees don’t allow me to do that. 

 

Photo: BBC

I’m on benefits, so I’ll get a top brief for free, right?

Wrong.

You’ll be represented, but don’t count on a “top brief”.  You’ve heard of the phrase “pay peanuts get monkeys”?  Your advocate will have forced the decent, honest, hard-working solicitors and barristers out of the profession because they can no longer afford to do the job.  Of course he’ll assure you he has your best interest at heart in advising you to plead guilty.  But how do you know he’s not advising this for financial gain?  He’ll get the same fee whether you plead guilty or not.  And a trial is so much hard work that could so easily be avoided.  Who cares if you’re innocent?  He certainly doesn’t.  He’s got hundreds of clients to represent, why should he spend any more time on your case than absolutely necessary?

 

So if I have to pay for a barrister but am acquitted, the state pays me my costs, right?

Wrong.

Even if you’re found “not guilty” after trial, you can only reclaim costs at legal aid rates.  Which are pitiful. 

 

Pitiful?  Show us the money!

Mr Grayling would have you believe that we’re all earning vast sums of money as Mr Grayling would have you believe.  Indeed the vast majority of junior criminal barristers earn less than the national average wage in the UK.  The majority start their career as a pupil barrister earning just £12,000 gross.  That will rise, but not to the astronomical figures Mr Grayling would have you believe.  Ten years ago I was I had a weekend job waitressing in a local restaurant.  I earned more then, on an hourly basis, that I do now.  Now, I am a fully-qualified practicing criminal barrister, representing individuals at all levels of the Criminal Justice system from the Magistrates’ Court through to the Court of Appeal.  Then I was a 17-year-old school girl.

At five years call and a mere year post-pupillage, I’m a very junior member of the Bar.  The vast majority of my work is legally aided.  I only defend.  The work I do is fixed-fee.  In the Magistrates’ Court I’ll get paid £50 to represent an individual charged with a criminal offence in their first Court appearance.  In order to properly represent that individual I will need to read the case papers, analyse the evidence, advise fully in conference, fill in legal aid forms and that’s all before we even get in front of the Magistrates/ District Judge.  In Court I will need to tell the tribunal the issues upon which the matter is contested (if indeed it is contested) and possibly apply for bail.  If the matter is not contested, and my client chooses to plead guilty, I will mitigate.  If, following mitigation, the bench decide to adjourn the case for a fast delivery Pre-Sentence Report, I may be asked to wait for several hours in order for my client to meet with probation.  And so I will wait.  It’s not uncommon for this entire process, including preparation time and court-time, to take an entire working day, plus preparation time the previous evening.  Yet still my “fee” remains £50.  Much of that £50 is swallowed up by travel costs, chambers rent, clerks fees and tax. 

Of course not all of my days are spent in the Magistrates’ Court.  Baby-steps are taken into the Crown Court, where a year or so ago I started off covering pre-trial hearings for colleagues in chambers.  The odd sentence here and there.  For one particular pre-trial hearing, a Plea and Case Management Hearing, I would get paid £47.50.  For a sentence I may receive around £100.  However, if I am the Instructed Advocate in the Crown Court case, and I am unable to attend one of these pre-trial hearings, I will have to pay another advocate to go.  Their “fee” will then come out of the fixed fee I get for the entire case.  And so technically, I’m at a loss by not going to Court.  Of course, some days I’m still at a loss by actually going to Court – my travel costs frequently come to more than £50 as I work all over the country.  Again, it’s all fixed-fee, regardless of the number of hours I spend preparing the case, in conference with the client, and physically on my feet in Court.  I could choose not to prepare at all, in which case the time spent would be considerably less.  But then I wouldn’t expect to get much repeat business, and I wouldn’t expect to have a very high success rate, and, what is more it could well lead to innocent people being convicted!  This is why, instead, I spend my evenings and weekends working, for little or no remuneration.

The fear is that if Grayling really does slash the legal aid budget, and with it slash barrister’s fees, the vast majority will be forced to leave the profession and seek properly paid employment (waitressing is always an option!)  But then who will defend those charged with criminal offences?  Who will prosecute the murders and rapists?  Someone who is willing to work for next to nothing.  Someone who will not put in the hours or the effort that the job demands.  Someone who will pressurise their client to plead guilty, because that someone gets paid the same for a guilty plea as for a week-long trial, never mind that the client is innocent.  Miscarriages of justice will be a frighteningly common occurrence and the justice system as we know it will grind to a halt.

 

That’s why I was protesting outside City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court.  Because these cuts will affect YOU!

 

Photo: BBC

 

Prime Minister backs plans for US-style sentencing

David Cameron has dismissed fears that the Government is pumping up a housing bubble.

Photo: Press Association

Possibly the “hot topic” of the year (thus far, we’re only on day 3) is David Cameron’s idea that those convicted and sentenced in the UK should face US-style sentencing.  A “life sentence”, Cameron argues, should mean life: “There are some people who commit such dreadful crimes that they should be sent to prison and life should mean life.”

No possibility of rehabilitation then Cameron?

It’s a proposal that has been the subject of much debate; The Guardian published an article online just 27 hours ago and has already received in excess of 1,500 comments.  Dirk van Zyl Smit, also writing for The Guardian, summed-up the proposal as meaning “that we write them [prisoners] off permanently. It means that we deny that with the passage of time they may change for the better; or that we may change our assessment of their crimes.”

Of course, what Cameron is effectively trying to do is to circumvent the European Court of Human Rights ban on whole-life sentences (Vinter v UK, 2003).  In the case of Vinter, Judge Power-Forde of the Republic of Ireland summed-up the reasons why it was fundamentally unacceptable for the UK to continue to impose whole-life tariffs:

“Hope is an important and constitutive aspect of the human person. Those who commit the most abhorrent and egregious of acts and who inflict untold suffering upon others, nevertheless retain their fundamental humanity and carry within themselves the capacity to change. Long and deserved though their prison sentences may be, they retain the right to hope that, someday, they may have atoned for the wrongs which they have committed … To deny them the experience of hope would be to deny a fundamental aspect of their humanity and, to do that, would be degrading.”

Surely this is exactly what 100 year sentences will achieve; a completer denial of any hope, whatsoever?  By sentencing someone to 100 years in prison are we not effectively locking them up and throwing away the key?  Denying a human being access to any rehabilitative support and sending a message that some offenders are too evil to even be considered worthy to ever be reformed or to ever leave the confines of a prison cell?

Let’s not forget that the ECHR is not advocating an automatic release of violent offenders after a set period of time.  What is required by Vinter is simply a review of each prisoner, at set periods throughout their detention.  This review should take place after no more than 25 years of incarceration, but it certainly does not guarantee release.  What is also required, throughout the period of incarceration, is the opportunity for rehabilitation.

There are currently 49 prisoners in England and Wales serving whole-life sentences.  Many are bringing appeals against sentence following the Vinter judgment.

The US already sentences many offenders to lengthy terms of imprisonment, when it doesn’t kill them, of course.  Ariel Castro, found guilty of kidnapping three women in the US state of Ohio, was sentenced in 2013 to 1,000 years in jail.  He committed suicide later that same year.  Cameron is effectively promoting a similar regime in the UK.  But where does it end?  Are we to bring back the gallows, Mr Cameron?

More on life sentences can be found here, here, here, herehere and here.

French llama goes galavanting

When we promise to give you the A to Z of Criminal Law, from arson to zebras, we didn’t expect to be writing a post on a llama.  But here we are.

Meet Serge.  A circus llama.

Image credit: Twitter/@x_cappelaere

Serge was abducted by a group of five French teenagers, who, it seems, had had a little too much vino and thought Serge needed a bit of excitement of an evening.  They found Serge in a closed-down circus and set about taking him on a tour of Bordeaux, via the city tram system.

“We went in and played with the animals,” one of the teens told a local TV channel. “We ended up taking a llama with us.”  As you do.

The Independent report that the group had intended to take home a zebra (which would have been an excellent story for our A to Z here at UK Criminal Law Blog) but the zebra proved unwilling.  The group then discovered Serge, who proved  perfectly willing to be given a guided tour around the city.  The tour would have continued but for some disgruntled passengers who didn’t like the look of poor Serge, and reported his presence to a ticket inspector.

“He moved along the tram and we couldn’t hold onto him,” said one of the group “The inspector made him get off and tied him to a lamppost.”  Seemingly the group hadn’t thought to buy Serge a ticket and so left him, high and dry, with the ticket inspector.

The group responsible were arrested, but were not charged with any offences arising from the incident.  Serge is now back, safe and sound, with the circus.

More on the story, including some rather amusing video footage, can be found here.

 

Man jailed for killing crying baby daughter

Kurt Delves has been jailed for 3 years and nine months for shaking his 10 week-old daughter causing devastating brain damage and haemorrhages in her brain and eyes.  The baby later died in hospital.

Kurt Delves

Delves admitted manslaughter of his daughter having shook her “in frustration” when she would not stop crying.  Police say Delves shook her in an attempt to wake her when she became floppy during a bath.  She was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital and put on a life support machine, but later died.

Delves admitted manslaughter on day one of his trial.  In sentencing him to three years and nine months, HHJ Thirlwall said “I accept you wanted to be a good father but on this date, you didn’t, you lost your temper, you shook her repeatedly.”

Solicitor sentenced to three years for Attempting to Pervert the Court of Justice

Defence solicitor Basharat Ditta was imprisoned for three years on Friday 1st November, having been found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Disgraced: Basharat Ditta, 42, was jailed for three years at Liverpool Crown Court after tipping off a drug dealer about a major police investigation

Ditta was found to have passed on sensitive police intelligence to his client Neil Scarborough, who was facing a conspiracy charge relating to drug smuggling.  Ditta passed on sensitive information about Scarborough’s co-conspirators in an attempt to divert attention away from Scarborough.  Hair analysis showed Ditta to be a user of cocaine and Scarborough was said to be his supplier.  Supt Lee Halstead said the 44-year-old’s cocaine addiction had left him “hopelessly compromised”.

Scarborough later pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to supply heroin, cocaine and cannabis, and was sentenced to fourteen years in prison.  Thirty-five other men were also jailed.

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said:

“[Ditta] thwarted the police’s investigation as much as possible to enable them to continue in their criminal activities.  Mr Ditta was not honouring his profession, but dishonouring it.”

Ditta denied any wrong-doing was convicted of the charge after trial.

In sentencing Ditta, HHJ Holroyde sitting at Liverpool Crown Court stated:

“The role of the criminal solicitor is a demanding one. Those who carry out such work understandably wish to maintain a good relationship with their clients, many of whom can be demanding and at times unreasonable.

“In a highly competitive field with increasing financial pressure solicitors in this field of practice understandably wish, if they properly can, to avoid conducting cases in a way which might cause their clients to take their business elsewhere.”

12 year old boys banned from every football ground in the UK

Two twelve-year-old boys from Newcastle have admitted throwing missiles during the aftermath of a Newcastle United v Sunderland football game in April 2013.  As a result, a Court has imposed three year football banning orders, effectively banning the boys from every football ground in the UK.

The boys were handed in to police by their parents following media reports of the incident, which erupted following Sunderland’s 3-0 win at the Newcastle United home ground.

 

The pair, who cannot be named as they are under 18 years old, have been banned from the city centre on match days and will have to surrender their passports whenever Newcastle or England play overseas.

Coronation Street actor found not guilty of child sex offences

Michael Le Vell, best known as Coronation Street character Kevin Webster, has been found not guilty of child sex offences following a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Photo: PA Wire

Le Vell, tried under his real name of Michael Turner, was acquitted of all twelve charges, including five counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity. The jury took just over 4 hours to find him not guilty of all charges.

The complainant, now aged 17, told the jury that Le Vell put a teddy bear over her mouth whilst he raped her telling her he was “just getting rid of all the evil and bad inside me”. Her account was labelled inconsistent, unbelievable and lacking detail by defence barrister Alisdair Williamson. Reportedly there was no physical injuries to the complainant.

During the trial the jury heard personal details of Le Vell’s private life, including Le Vell’s alcohol addiction, one-night-stands and an affair.

Le Vell gave evidence during the trial and has always denied the allegations. He told the jury he was “fighting for his life”. Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, cross-examined Le Vell on his need to be persuasive in giving evidence, and compared it to an acting job. Le Vell replied:

“It’s nothing like an acting job. You never get put in a position like this. They never teach you to be here and face what I have been faced with for the last two years. No one can teach you that.

I’m fighting for my life.”

Of course it was not up to Le Vell to persuade the jury of his innocence. The burden of proof remains on the prosecution; it is up to them to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt, so that the jury are sure of guilt. If the jury are not sure, they will acquit, as they have done in Le Vell’s case.

Le Vell is expected to return to ITV later this year.