June 2017

Carlisle paedophile who sexually assaulted child could face life sentence

A paedophile who molested a young girl has been told he could receive a life prison sentence.

David Stevenson, 53, was convicted unanimously by a jury of three sexual assaults on a child. This followed a trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Stevenson was also found guilty of breaching a sexual offences prevention order he received in 2006.

Jurors in his trial heard this order was put in place after he was convicted, in 2006, of raping and indecently assaulting a girl aged in her early teens.

Stevenson had denied the more recent sexual abuse of the younger girl.

But, having heard all evidence in the case, a jury of seven women and five men found him guilty of all four crimes.

Judge Peter Davies adjourned the case, asking for background information to be made available before he passes sentence at the crown court on July 21.

But Judge Davies told Stevenson, of Compton Street, Carlisle, that in view of his previous rape conviction he faces a life prison sentence unless there are deemed to be “exceptional circumstances”.

Stevenson was remanded in custody.

*A woman on trial with Stevenson was convicted of aiding and abetting the sexual assault of a child aged under 13.

She was also remanded in custody by Judge Davies until next month, and told she must expect “a significant custodial sentence”.

August 2006

CHILD RAPIST’S CONVICTION APPEAL FAILS

A MAN who repeatedly raped a vulnerable young girl has failed in his bid to get his convictions overturned on appeal, after arguing that the girl was suffering from false memory syndrome.

David Stevenson, 42, of Cragg Road, Cleator Moor, was arrested eight years after the attacks, when memories of the rapes returned to his victim following intensive therapy for psychological disorders.

Stevenson was jailed for 10 years after being convicted of three specimen counts of rape at Canterbury Crown Court last year.

Yesterday he appealed against those convictions at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, before Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice Mackay and Mr Justice Treacy.

The court heard that the rapes had taken place during the mid-Nineties, but that the victim had “lost” her memories of them, which only returned when a psychologist probed deep into her subconscious in 2004.

But lawyers for Stevenson argued that his trial had been unfair, because they had not been allowed by the judge to develop their argument that the memories of the victim regarding the rape were false and in fact were symptoms of her psychological problems.

They claimed that her “appalling” childhood had led her to make false allegations of sexual abuse against a number of adult males.

The trial had been unfair because they had not been allowed to question the victim on this issue by the trial judge despite requesting permission to do so, Stevenson’s legal team argued.

Lord Justice Hughes agreed that a request to develop such an argument before the jury should have been granted by the trial judge in the right circumstances.

But he concluded that such a request had not in fact been made in this way at the trial, saying the way Stevenson was putting his case had been fundamentally altered between trial and appeal.

He also added that there must be firm evidence of a pattern of false allegations for such a request to be granted and said that was absent in this case.

In this case there was a “wholly insufficient basis” for Stevenson’s arguments said Lord Justice Hughes, dismissing the appeal.

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