May 2016

Pensioner who raped a schoolgirl and assaulted another claims his trial was ‘not fair’

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A pensioner who raped a vulnerable schoolgirl and indecently assaulted another tried to convince a top judge that his trial was unfair.

Anthony William Edwards, 69, forced his victims to undress in front of him and acted with “entrenched depravity” when he carried out the crimes over 20 years ago.

Edwards, of Wold Newton, was jailed for 12-and-a-half years at Grimsby Crown Court in May, 2015, after a jury convicted him of raping one girl three times and indecently assaulting the other.He was acquitted of seven other sex charges.

Edwards challenged his convictions and his case reached London’s Appeal Court.

Judge Michael Stokes QC said Edwards had complained about the fairness of his trial and the adequacy of his legal representation.

He also claimed that some of the jury’s verdicts made no logical sense and ought to be overturned.

But the judge described Edwards’s complaints about his trial legal team as “baseless”.

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mrs Justice Simler, rejected the appeal.

He said: “We are wholly satisfied that Edwards received a fair trial.The verdicts are not inconsistent.

“Nor can there be any reasonable complaints about the trial process, the judge’s summing-up, or the standard of his representation”.

Both Edwards’ victims were in their teens when abused and the rape victim described him as “intimidating and controlling”.

The other girl said Williams, then in his 40s, had repeatedly groped her breasts.

The judge who sentenced him said both women were “haunted” by their ordeals.

One said her life was overshadowed by flashbacks and depression.

She revealed a chronic fear of bumping into Edwards, which had left her “petrified”.In all she had moved house 11 times to avoid such an encounter, the court heard.