Tag: sexual abuse solicitors

Sunderland Man Jailed for Illegal Images

Image of a laptop and digital camera with several SD cars strewn about on a table

A 39 year old male from Sunderland has been jailed after police found him to be in possession of over one hundred illegal images and videos, just two months after he was handed a suspended sentence for a similar offence.

Previous offence

Christopher Hutchinson was arrested in October 2015 after a tip-off to police from his internet service provider. He was found to be in possession of around 174 indecent images and videos of children and a judge handed him a suspended sentence.

However just two months later, Hutchinson was found to have started another collection of disturbing images and films involving child abuse and people having sex with animals. The images and films, over one hundred in total, were stored on numerous SD cards and were only discovered when Hutchinson was arrested and searched over an unrelated offence.

Guilty plea

In court, Hutchinson pleaded guilty to making and possessing 40 movies and 37 still images of child abuse, many of which being in the most serious category.

He also pleaded guilty to possessing 25 films and images of extreme pornography involving animals.

Sentencing Hutchinson to two years in prison, Judge Tim Gittins told him:

“It cannot be said enough, the fact that these are images available on parts of the internet does not mean it is not an abuse by you of those children to download them and use them for your sexual gratification.”

The judge added that the fact the 39 year old had started a new collection within two months of being handed his last sentence showed ‘blatant disregard’ for the last court order.

Huthinson, who is already on the Sex Offenders Register and the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, has been assessed by the probation service as posing a “high risk of serious harm to young children by the commission of this sort of offence again”.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Sunderland Echo

Woman Who Accused Trump of Rape Drops Lawsuit

Image of Donald J. Trump addressing crowds at a rally in Georgia

A woman who accused Donald Trump of raping her when she was thirteen dropped her lawsuit against the Presidential candidate last week.

Alleged attack

The woman alleged that both Mr Trump and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein raped her in 1994. She claimed that Mr Trump tied her to a bed at a party in Mr Epstein’s Manhattan home before attacking her.

The alleged victim filed a lawsuit against the pair earlier in 2016 under the pseudonym Jane Doe and a tentative court date was set for the civil lawsuit against Mr Trump for 16 December 2016.

Voluntary dismissal

Thomas Meagher, one of the claimant’s lawyers, filed a voluntary one page document dismissing the case in district court in Manhattan, New York on Friday (4th November). Another lawyer for the alleged victim, Lisa Bloom, cited “numerous threats” against her client after she abruptly cancelled a planned event at which she was to speak publicly about her claims.

Ms Bloom went on to say:

“She is living in fear. She has decided that she is too afraid to show her face.

“She has been here all day, ready to do it, but unfortunately, she’s in terrible fear.”

Both Meagher and Bloom failed to immediately respond when asked by the Guardian to comment on the document filed last week.

A lawyer for the Trump Organisation claimed the allegations were “a complete fabrication” after the lawsuit was filed against him in June. Alan Garten said:

“This is basically a sham lawsuit brought by someone who desires to impact the presidential election.”

Mr Trump has always denied the allegation.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Independent; Guardian

Top Barristers Discuss Ched Evans Case

Image of bronze statue of justice

Leading criminal barristers have come forward to express their concern that the ‘over-reaction’ of some women’s rights campaigners following the Ched Evans verdict will ‘scare’ victims of sexual assault from speaking up.

Section 41 & New Evidence

Evans, a Welsh international footballer, was convicted of raping a nineteen year old woman in 2011. He served half of a five year sentence and after his release a campaign was launched to find new evidence that would eventually led to his acquittal. The court of appeal then ordered a retrial, in which the new evidence – testimony from two of the complainant’s former partners regarding her sexual history – would be heard.

In court, the two new witnesses gave evidence that the complainants past sexual behaviour with them, including the language that she used, was very similar to the account that Evans gave describing how she had acted with him during consensual sex.

At the centre of the appeal was section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. This section of the Act stops a complainant’s sexual history being used in court apart from in exceptional circumstances.

“Created a rapists’ charter”

A number of women’s rights campaigners have suggested that this decision, to allow the defence to use the complainant’s sexual history, has set the law back thirty years and created a ‘rapists’ charter’.

Women’s rights activist Julie Bindel said following Evans’ acquittal last week:

“The Ched Evans acquittal, and the way his defence was run, has led to a rapists’ charter.”

While Vera Baird, a former solicitor general for England and Wales and now the Northumbria police and crime commissioner, claimed the decision has pushed the law back by three decades.

“Counterproductive”

However in a recent article in the Guardian, the chair and chair of the Criminal Bar Association have expressed their concern that this view is ‘counterproductive’ and will undermine the confidence victims of sexual crimes have in the laws that are in place to protect them.

Chair of the Criminal Bar Association, Francis FitsGibbon QC, said:

“There’s been a huge over-reaction to what this case means. The answer is not very much. The thing that troubles me is people saying it sets the law back 30 years and it’s a rapists’ charter. That is what is going to make people think they daren’t report what’s happened to them. Those cries of anguish are a self-fulfilling prophesy.”

He added:

“The law on section 41 makes it very, very difficult to introduce evidence of someone’s previous sexual behaviour unless the judge is persuaded it would result in an unfair verdict if it wasn’t put.

“There’s an understandable emotional reaction when something like this happens. When you step back and look at what it actually does it’s an over-reaction.”

On Baird’s stance, FitzGibbon went on to say:

“Vera has for many years been a redoubtable champion of women’s rights and I’m sure she genuinely believes this a backward step for the rights of women in the criminal justice system and in society. But I happen to disagree with her. I don’t think it is. I think the language that she and others have used is counterproductive and is probably more likely to scare people off than the law itself.”

“Highlights important issues”

Vice-chair of the Criminal Bar Association and an expert on the law around sexual offences, Angela Rafferty QC, said:

“Sometimes cases involving celebrities can be a blessing in highlighting important issues.”

But she added:

“It is a disservice to victims of sex offenders to misinform them that the Ched Evans case has put the law back 30 years or has made it a rapists’ charter. That case has not changed the law. The law forbids questions about the previous sexual behaviour of a complainant in sexual offence cases, except in highly unusual circumstances where the trial would be unfair, and a wrongful conviction might result, if the evidence was not given.

“The court of appeal thought Evans’s was such a case. Cases like Evans’s will remain wholly exceptional. There is no relaxation of the rule against this type of questioning.”

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Guardian; Legal Cheek

MP’s Aide Arrested on Suspicion of Rape

An image of the Palace of Westminster in London in the evening

A Tory MP’s aide has been arrested following an accusation of rape.

According to Metropolitan police the 23 year old male, an aide for Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, was arrested after the alleged attack occurred in the early hours of Friday morning in Westminster.

A spokesman for the Mr Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, said:

“On Friday morning, Mr Mackinlay was made aware of an allegation against a member of his staff.

“Following a request made by the police and parliamentary services he granted full access to his Westminster office. Mr Mackinlay is currently awaiting further information from the police.”

Police officers were called to Westminster once the alleged victim spoke out. Officers have confirmed that the man has been released on bail until January as they carry out their investigation.

A Met spokesman said:

“Detectives from the sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command are investigating an allegation of rape at the Houses of Parliament in the early hours of Friday 14 October.

“A 23-year-old man was arrested that same day on suspicion of rape. He has been bailed pending further inquiries to a date in mid-January 2017.”

Parliament is “working closely” with police, a spokesperson for the House of Commons said:

“We are aware of an incident on the parliamentary estate, which is being investigated by the Metropolitan police service. Parliament is working closely with the police on their investigation and we cannot comment further while this is ongoing.”

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Guardian; BBC News

Ched Evans Cleared of Rape Following Retrial

Image of the front of Cardiff Crown Court

The former Welsh International, Ched Evans, has today been cleared of raping a nineteen year old woman following a retrial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Evans, who served half a five year sentence after being convicted of rape in 2012, had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal earlier this year.

Jurors took two and a half hours to acquit Evans, after they heard new evidence relating to the claimant that surfaced last year.

Mrs Justice Davies told Evans after the decision had been read out:

“Mr Evans, you are discharged and you can leave the dock.”

Evans’ solicitor, Shaun Draycott, read a statement from the 27 year old which said that he was “overwhelmed with relief” following the verdict. He thanked his family and friends, “most notably my fiancee, Natasha, who chose, perhaps incredibly, to support me in my darkest hour”.

The statement concluded:

“Whilst my innocence has now been established, I wish to make it clear that I wholeheartedly apologise to anyone who might have been affected by the events of the night in question.”

Recap: Conviction, Appeal & Retrial

In 2012 Evans was found guilty of raping a 19 year old woman at a hotel in Rhyl, North Wales. The 27 year old was released from jail two and a half years later.

The ex-Welsh international admitted having sex with the woman, however he has always maintained his innocence, claiming the encounter was consensual.

Following a ten month investigation by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), responsible for investigating possible miscarriages of justice, it was revealed in October 2015 that new evidence had surfaced. Following the announcement of the new evidence, which the CCRC said ‘raises a real possibility the Court of Appeal may now quash the conviction’, Evans’ case was referred to the Court of Appeal.

Lady Justice Hallet later announced that Evans’ conviction had been quashed, but that a retrial would take place.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: The Guardian

Donald Trump: Sexual Assault Allegations

Image of Donald J. Trump addressing crowds at a rally in Georgia

Multiple women have come forward to accuse US presidential candidate Donald Trump of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour.

“Locker room banter”

The claims follow video footage that has emerged in which Mr Trump claims that he can grab women’s genitals with freedom. In the 2005 instalment of Access Hollywood that was leaked to the Washington Post, Mr Trump can be seen laughing with host Billy Bush about how being famous allowed him to kiss and grope women without their consent.

Mr Trump dismissed the comments as being “locker-room banter” and during Sunday’s debate with Hillary Clinton he insisted that he had not actually done any of the things he discussed.

Multiple Allegations

So far, the list of allegations made against Trump includes:

• An incident in which Mr Trump appears to be sexualising a ten year old girl.
• Two women who claim that Mr Trump groped or kissed them without consent, one on a first class flight.
• A People magazine reporter who claims that Mr Trump forced himself on her in 2005.
• A woman who has alleged that Trump groped her at an event at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
• Two Miss USA contestants who claimed that Mr Trump knowingly walked in on them as they were naked in a dressing room.

The encounter regarding the 10 year old girl was brought to light in video footage of a 1992 Entertainment Tonight Christmas special in which Mr Trump appeared, he was 46 at the time.

The show was filmed at Trump Tower and in the video Mr Trump asks the young if she is going up the escalator. When she tells him she is, he turns to the camera and says:

“I’m going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”

New York Times

This week, the New York Times (NYT) published the stories of two women, both who claim that Mr Trump touched them inappropriately.

74 year old Jessica Leeds said that over thirty years ago, she sat next to Mr Trump in the first-class cabin of a New York-bound flight. According to Jessica, who had not met Mr Trump prior to this encounter, 45 minutes after take-off Trump lifted the arm rest, grabbed her breasts and attempted to put his hand up her skirt. She told the NYT that “he was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere.”

The newspaper also told the story of Rachel Crooks. Rachel claims that when she was 22 and a receptionist at a real estate investment and development company located in Trump Tower, she said hello to Mr Trump while they were in an elevator together.

According to Rachel, they shook hands, but instead of letting go, Mr Trump began to kiss her on her cheek and then on her mouth. She told the NYT:

“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

Other claims

Claims also emerged this week from a reporter for People Magazine, Natasha Stoynoff, who alleges that Trump forced himself on her in 2005. She wrote:

“He was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat.”

She claims that Trump later told her:

“You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?”

A similar story was published by the Palm Beach Post, in which it is alleged that Mr Trump groped Mindy McGillivray in 2003 at his Mar-a-Lago estate, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Miss USA

A former Miss USA contestant claims that in 2001, Donald Trump deliberately walked in on her and another contestant while they were naked and getting dressed for a rehearsal. The woman, who has asked to stay anonymous, alleges that just before he entered, she heard security outside the dressing room warn someone approaching the door that the women inside were naked. She said that Trump’s attitude, she said, seemed to be: “I can do this because I can.” Adding:

“Mr Trump just barged right in, didn’t say anything, stood there and stared at us.”

“He didn’t walk in and say, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, I was looking for someone,’”

“He walked in, he stood and he stared. He was doing it because he knew that he could.”

A second Miss USA contestant from the 2001 competition has also come forward to accuse Mr Trump of inappropriate behaviour in a separate incident. Tasha Dixon, the former Miss Arizona, recalled an incident in which Trump came “waltzing in” to a room while numerous contestants were half naked or in a state of undress.

According to Dixon, many of the contestants’ very first encounter with Mr Trump would occur while they were naked.

“He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless.

“We were naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position,”

“And then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”

The unnamed contestant added that she did not report Mr Trump’s behaviour at the time, as her position was ’too tenuous’.

“This was my boss. I’m there to represent my state, my town, my reputation on one of the most prestigious stages on the planet,”

“I had not a lot of experience under my belt. And it was horrifying … It was extremely uncomfortable from there forward.”

She also said that until she saw Miss Dixon’s interview, she did not know that this could have happened to other contestants.

“It’s important for people to know that this has been a personality trait of his for a long time,”

“He completely exerted his power and the control that he had … And I do believe that kind of behavior perpetuates rape culture and makes young boys think they can behave that way.”

“I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant”

Trump has previously boasted during a 2005 segment of the Howard Stern show, about being able to view beauty contestants naked. In a tape obtained by CNN, Mr Trump said:

“I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else,”

“And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it. ‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”

It has also been reported that that several teen beauty queens from the 1997 Miss Teen USA claim that Trump entered a shared dressing room while several of them were naked. One girl was just 15 years old at the time.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: The Guardian

Woman Attacked on Manchester Street

Arial image of Manchester city centre

A woman was robbed and raped after being pinned to the ground in Manchester city centre last week.

Incident

The victim, an 18 year old, was approached by a man in the early hours of Wednesday 21st September, before she was pinned down by both a man and a woman, whilst a second female robbed her.

The teenager was then raped by the male assailant before all three offenders fled the scene.

A detective from Greater Manchester police’s serious sexual offences unit, DI Dave Moores said:

“This was a horrendous attack on a young woman which has, understandably, left her extremely distressed.

“We are providing her with support from specially trained officers and have launched a full investigation.”

Police appeal

Both female offenders are described as having a Manchester accent and their hair styled into ponytails.

The first woman, who restrained the victim during the robbery, is said to be of mixed race, slim and around 18 years old.

The woman who committed the robbery is also described as mixed race and to be in her early 20s.

The male offender is described as white, of slim build and in his early 20s. He is also described to have a clean shaven face and was wearing sports clothing at the time of the incident.

Greater Manchester police are asking for anyone, who may have seen group matching the description of the offenders between 2am and 3am on Wednesday 21st September around Major Street and the city’s Gay Village area, to contact them.

Anybody with information should contact police on 0161 856 1911 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need. More detailed information regarding sexual abuse claims can be found here.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: Guardian

Sexual Abuse: New Claims Against Late Singer

Image of Michael Jackson circa 1992

According to new legal documents, one of Michael Jackson’s alleged victims has come forward to claim that Jackson ran one of the “most sophisticated child sexual abuse” operations in history.

Alleged Abuse

Wade Robson has previously alleged that the late singer abused him when he was seven years old. However, the choreographer later denied any abuse when called to testify during a 2005 molestation trial in which Jackson was accused of abusing a thirteen year old boy.

At the time Jackson’s former housekeeper, Blanca Francia, said the she witnessed Robson and Jackson in the shower together.

Jackson was cleared of all 14 counts of allegations against him in 2005 but Robson later sued the late singer’s estate in May 2013, accusing him of molesting him for seven years.

At the time, the claims were labelled “less than credible” by Jackson’s estate.

New Allegations

The new claims feature in an amended complaint filed by Robson against two of Jackson’s companies, MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures. Claiming the star’s inner circle served a ‘dual purpose’, Robson alleges that those close to the star had a process in place for seeking out and enticing children to Jackson’s Neverland Ranch.

Robson’s lawyer, Vince Finaldi, reportedly wrote the following in the motion:

“The thinly-veiled, covert second purposes of these businesses was to operate as a child sex abuse operation.

“Specifically designed to locate, attract, lure and seduce child sexual abuse victims.”

Finaldi claimed that Jackson’s company would send a limousine to pick families up and take them to paid for accommodation. He also reportedly would offer gifts.

“MJJ Productions operated the most sophisticated child sexual abuse procurement and facilitation operation the world has known.”

Neverland Ranch

According to the complaint, Robson first met Jackson in Australia after winning a dance competition run by MJJ Productions. Robson was just five years old at the time.

Robson and his family were invited to stay at the Neverland Ranch and did so two years after their first meeting. However, Robson claims that while his family slept elsewhere, he shared the superstar’s bed. Robson claims this was the first time he was abused by Jackson.

In the newly amended complaint, Robson claims he was abused by the late singer for the next seven years. He alleges that once he hit puberty, Jackson was “no longer as interested in him sexually”. Finaldi told New York Daily News:

“Make no mistake, Neverland Ranch was nothing but a well-orchestrated trap.

“It was custom-built to attract kids so he could groom them and decide which to sexually abuse.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

Source: MSN.com

Brock Turner is Released after Three Months

Last week the former Stanford University swimmer and Ohio native, Brock Turner, was released from prison. 21 year old Turner was released early for good behaviour after serving half of a six-month sentence for rape and sexual assault.

Activists and survivors of rape and sexual assault congregated outside a local courthouse in San Jose last week to criticise the short sentence, which is viewed by many as an insult to victims everywhere.

Assault on college campus

In January 2015, two Swedish students spotted a man ‘thrusting’ on top of a motionless woman next to a dumpster near Stanford’s Kappa Alpha fraternity. They intervened and found the woman unconscious and partially dressed. The students held the man until police arrived and made an arrest.

Criminal charges

Prosecutors filed criminal charges against the man, who was revealed to be Brock Turner, a college athlete. Turner faced a maximum of fourteen years in prison after a jury found him guilty of ‘assault with intent to rape and sexually penetrating an intoxicated and unconscious person’.

However the judge sentencing Turner, Aaron Persky – also a former Stanford athlete, was allowed under California law to make an exception if he deemed the case ‘unusual’. The judge expressed sympathy for Turner, telling the court room at the time of sentencing that Turner was less morally culpable at the time of the attack as he was drunk. Persky also added that Turner had suffered enough in terms of the media attention the case had garnered.

Victim’s statement

Following sentencing, the victim released a 7,000 word statement in which she gave a graphic and disturbing account of the attack and the aftermath of the drawn-out trial. The victim points to the fact that Turner’s status as an athlete should not have had an impact on his sentence, she wrote:

“The fact that Brock was a star athlete at a prestigious university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a strong cultural message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.”

After the release of the victim’s statement, Turner continued to claim that the encounter was consensual and was a result of a copious amount of alcohol. His father even went so far as to call the assault ’20 minutes of action’.
However, the victim’s account of the attack and its affects soon went viral, leading to wide spread hatred of both Turner and Persky.

Demands for recall

Many have called for the recall of Persky and an official campaign was set up by Michele Landis Dauber, a Stanford law professor and family friend of the victim. The judge recently removed himself from the criminal court following the repeated accusations that he has failed to treat violence against women seriously.

In a recent speech by Dauber, she called on the state attorney general to look into Persky’s actions regarding another case, in which he delayed the sentencing of a domestic violence offender so that he could continue to play football in Hawaii.

Persky has not responded to repeated requests for comment and recently launched a campaign to fight the recall. The judge has expressed that he is a strong advocate for “judicial independence” and that he has a “reputation for being fair to both sides”.

New state legislation

The case of Turner and the assault has inspired new state legislation in California, which states that prison is mandatory for those found guilty of sexually assaulting unconscious victims.

Co-founder of the Stanford Association of Students for Sexual Assault Prevention, Stephanie Pham, said that more survivors are coming forward and that she hopes this will help society to recognise the severity of assault.

“Rape isn’t some regrettable act. Rape is a crime. And the fact that that mentality is changing in some way right now is great, but it’s obviously not enough.”

Sexual abuse claims – expert advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL). More detailed information regarding sexual abuse claims can be found here.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Guardian

Photographer Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault

Close up image of person holding a digital camera with lens in forefront

A British man has recently been jailed for more than 11 years, after he admitted drugging and raping three young men he met on social media.

Bristol Crown court heard how 43 year old Nigel Wilkinson set up a website last year, WilkoPhotography, and marketed himself as a fitness photographer. He would scout Instagram for potential victims and then invite them back to his home for a photo shoot under the guise of ‘putting together a modelling portfolio’. However, once they arrived, he would ply his victims with alcohol that was laced with various drugs, including Rohypnol, before attacking them.

Police investigation

Police began investigating Wilkinson in February of this year. Kent police were called by the girlfriend of a 19 year old man after she had received a text message from her boyfriend that claimed he had been drugged. Officers found the 19 year old at Wilkinson’s home and after a number of hospital tests, traces of a sedative were discovered in his system. The man also underwent further tests at a sexual assault referral centre, the results of which prompted officers to make an arrest.

When they arrived at Wilkinson’s home to make the arrest in April, police found a 23-year-old man asleep on the sofa. The man underwent tests at the Bridge sexual assault centre in Bristol and it was found that he had been drugged and raped.

A third victim, another 19 year old male, was discovered by police during their investigation. Like Wilkinson’s other two victims, this young man was also found to have traces of sedatives in his system. Empty drug packets and photographs of other young males on his computer (some of whom were naked) were also found during police searches of Wilkinson’s property.

None of his victims have any recollection of the acts committed on them.

Sentencing

The 43 year old received a sentence of 11 and a half years after pleading guilty to two counts of rape and three counts of administering a substance with intent to rape. Wilkinson also pleaded guilty to possession of the class C drugs Flunitrazepam, also known as Rohypnol, and Nitrazepam.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Longman told him:

“You wanted to have sex with as many attractive men as possible. All the victims were much younger than you and entrusted themselves to you. You abused the trust they placed in you.”

Continued Investigation

The police investigation into Wilkinson’s background is ongoing. As the three known victims had no memory of the attacks, police are concerned that there may be many more victims. Officers have expressed that they want to speak with anyone who may have been in contact with him through dating or photography websites and that the number of potential victims is expected to run into double figures.

PC Mike Steven said:

“The circumstances of this case are truly horrifying. I’d encourage any other victim of Nigel WIlkinson to come forward and speak to us. We’re always here and ready to listen to, believe and respect victims.”

Sexual Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL). More detailed information regarding sexual abuse claims can be found here.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk.

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Guardian