November 2011

Milford Haven sex offender fails to clear his name in appeal court

A Milford Haven man who served a jail term for a sex attack on a teenage babysitter more than a decade ago has failed in a belated bid to clear his name.

Hugo Henricksen, aged 56, of Hamilton Terrace, was convicted by a jury at Swansea crown court in 1995 of indecently assaulting the 13-year-old and served a 12-month prison sentence.

However, Henricksen has always denied any wrongdoing and on Monday – almost 16 years after he was jailed – he took his case to the Court of Appeal in London.

But after considering his case, three senior judges, led by the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Sir John Thomas, rejected his arguments and upheld the jury’s verdict.

Mr Justice Henriques, who sat with Sir John and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, said the appeal had been brought far too late and had no chance of succeeding anyway.

Henricksen was accused of molesting the teenage girl on a sofa when he visited the house where she was babysitting in 1995.

In his appeal arguments, he complained that the girl’s clothing and the duvet on which she was lying were not examined for forensic evidence.

She should also have been questioned about her own alleged visits to nightclubs and it put to her that she was not an innocent little girl, but had “an agenda” of her own.

But, rejecting the case, Mr Justice Henriques said Henricksen had missed the 28-day deadline for launching an appeal by many years.

Such a delay meant he would have to put forward “substantial grounds” to suggest that the conviction was “unsafe” – and Henricksen had failed to do that.

“This was a very simple case in which the jury heard an allegation made by a 13-year-old girl, denied by the appellant,” said the judge.

“The jury, having heard the evidence, were sure of his guilt.

“We have considered whether any appeal might have had a prospect of success. We do not consider that it would.”