August 2015

Sex attacker who groped teenage girl has jail sentence backed by top judges

A sex attacker who groped a teenager after plying her with home-made booze and was jailed at Reading Crown Court had his sentence backed by top judges – despite claims that his victim was “not a young and innocent girl”.

Simon Raglan, 47, was caged for two years in October last year after he was convicted of sexually assaulting his 16-year-old victim.

Raglan, of Parkhill Road, Blackwater, Camberley, was also hit with a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) barring him from unregulated contact with minors.

He was cleared of two other counts of sexual assault.

The case reached London’s Appeal Court as Raglan challenged both his conviction and sentence today.

His QC, Howard Godfrey, claimed the jury should have been discharged from returning a verdict as it was clear they had reached a complete deadlock.

The jury foreperson had told the trial judge they were unlikely to reach a verdict after hours of deliberation, Mrs Justice Lang said.

But she refused to abandon the trial – instead sending the jurors back home overnight to continue their deliberations the next day.

The following day, they convicted Raglan of one sexual assault charge by a majority.

Mrs Justice Lang, sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mr Justice Lewis, said there was no evidence that the jury had felt under “any kind of pressure”.

“We consider it was reasonable to allow them further time, providing the judge made clear that they were not being placed under any such pressure.

“We conclude that the jury was not placed under any improper pressure and therefore there are no arguable grounds for appealing this conviction.”

Mr Godfrey, also challenging both the two-year jail term and the SOPO, argued that Raglan should have received a suspended sentence.

He cited Raglan’s previous good character and his role as a family man and father.

“He is not a deviant or a paedophile,” said the QC, adding that Raglan was guilty of a “one-off and out of character” assault.

“This was not a young and innocent girl,” said the barrister, who claimed that she was “not unaccustomed to drinking”.

But Mrs Justice Lang concluded that Raglan’s sentence was “neither wrong in principle nor manifestly excessive”.

Raglan’s victim had suffered “significant adverse effects” from the attack.

Also upholding the SOPO Mrs Justice Lang said the offence occurred “after he gave her excessive amounts of drink”.