Pervert who abused young girl loses appeal against conviction
A pervert who is serving an eight-year prison sentence for abusing a young girl failed in a Court of Appeal bid to clear his name yesterday (Wednesday).
Dean Edwards (44) was accused of subjecting the youngster to a string of serious sex attacks, blighting her young life.
However, he denied any wrongdoing, claiming he was the victim of “malicious lies” in court.
The deviant was convicted of found guilty of seven counts of sexually assaulting a child aged under 13 at Peterborough Crown Court and jailed for eight years in February last year.
Yesterday, his case reached the Court of Appeal, where his lawyers suggested his case could be a “gross injustice”.
But the appeal was rejected when Lord Justice McCombe said Edwards had no grounds for arguing that the guilty verdicts were wrong.
And the eight-year sentence he received was justified for offending which had seriously affected his young victim.
The London court heard the offences came to light when the girl told a friend at school.
Police were called by school staff and she gave a harrowing account of attacks by Edwards, of Long Lane, Gedney Hill.
He was arrested the same day and denied all the offences.
On Wednesday, his barrister Roger Harrison argued before appeal judges that his convictions were unsafe, citing a series of complaints about the trial.
Medical evidence had been unavailable, the judge had not properly explained matters to the jury, and police interviews of the victim breached guidelines, he said.
The jury could also have been swayed against Edwards when a “hostile” witness “blurted out” inadmissible evidence during the trial, he claimed.
But Lord Justice McCombe said none of Edwards’ grounds of appeal stood any chance of overturning his convictions.
“We consider that the judge did all that was necessary, in a lengthy case with many issues, to put before the jury the salient matters,” he said.
“Having studied the materials, the judge can be seen to have conducted the trial entirely fairly.”
Rejecting a challenge to Edwards’ sentence, Mr Justice Stewart-Smith, sitting today with Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Lewis, said it was fair.
The abuse had had a traumatic effect on the victim, who was not even 13 when the attacks happened, he told the court.
“A sentence of eight years was a substantial one, but cannot be described as manifestly excessive,” he said.