January 2010

Serial rapist’s 18-year sentence upheld


A sex predator jailed for raping two schoolgirls more than 30 years ago has had his 18-year sentence upheld – despite pleas for mercy due to his failing health.

Norman Battersby, aged 64, was jailed at Sheffield Crown Court last February after he was convicted of 18 counts of rape – and other offences of indecent assault.

Battersby, of Greenwood Crescent, Wickersley, Rotherham, consistently denied guilt, and has shown no remorse, London’s Appeal Court heard.

Lord Justice Maurice Kay, sitting with Mr Justice David Clarke and Mrs Justice Sharp, said it was one of the worst abuse cases he had seen.

It involved repeated rapes of two vulnerable schoolgirls – one of whom was smeared with excrement and nearly forced into prostitution.

Both victims were traumatised by their ordeals, which had blighted their childhoods, and only came forward to accuse him when they were grown women in their 40s.

Battersby’s legal team acknowledged the 18-year term was “within the sentencing guidelines”, but urged the Appeal Court to grant a heavy cut because of his fragile health.

Battersby has suffered two mini-strokes in the past, and is on a cocktail of medication to control high blood pressure, arthritis and glaucoma. But Lord Justice Kay said the 18-year sentence was fully deserved for this “horrendous catalogue of abuse”.

Battersby’s medical condition was “not uncommon to a man of his age”, observed the judge. He added there was no reason to show mercy to a man who had committed such “appalling” crimes.