March 2018

‘Dangerous’ child rapist handed more prison time

A ‘dangerous’ child rapist from Redcar has earned himself an extra two months in jail after wasting top judges’ time with a hopeless bid to clear his name.

Stephen Hughes’ grounds of appeal included that he should have been allowed the help of a convicted child abductor and murderer during his trial.

Hughes, 56, of Queen Street, was caged for 11 years at Teesside Crown Court, on April 27 last year.

He was convicted of two counts of sexual assault, two of assault by penetration and two of rape, all involving a young child.

Branded a dangerous offender, he was also ordered to serve an extra six years on licence following his release.

Hughes’ grounds of appeal against his convictions were ‘wide-ranging and repetitive’, Mrs Justice Lang told London’s Appeal Court on Wednesday 7 March 2018.

They included that the Crown Court judge was wrong to rule that a serving prisoner – convicted of child abduction and murder – could not assist Hughes during his trial.

Hughes also claimed that details of his convictions in 2008 for historic sex offences should not have been put before the jury.

The vile pervert argued that the overall trial process was unfair and that all his convictions should be declared “unsafe” and overturned.

But Mrs Justice Lang, sitting with two other judges, said the convictions of Hughes’ chosen court ‘assistant’ made him ‘unsuitable’ to help the child rapist.

And the Crown Court judge ‘correctly ruled’ that the evidence of Hughes’ previous convictions was admissible.

Hughes had ‘demonstrated a propensity’ to ‘commit sexual offences against under age girls’, she said.

“The judge conducted the trial fairly. We are satisfied that none of the grounds of appeal are arguable and the convictions are safe,” she concluded.

As the appeal was ‘entirely unmeritorious’, the judge took the rare step of adding 56 days onto the jail time Hughes will serve.

During the April 2017 court hearing, Hughes was ordered to ask police permission before he ever dates a woman again, on top of an order not to have contact with girls under the age of 18.

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