Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich/London: Sex abuse athletics’ coach Stephen Benson’s appeal due to be heard next week

16:41 24 April 2014

Stephen Benson

Stephen Benson

Former Ipswich athletics coach Stephen Benson’s appeal against his conviction for sexually abusing three of his protégés has been scheduled for next week.

The 51-year-old, who also taught PE at Copleston High School in Ipswich, was described as having a “darker and sinister” side to his character after being found guilty of a catalogue of abuse.

Benson, who lived in Pearson’s Way, Copdock, was convicted of nine rapes, six indecent assaults, two sex assaults and two counts of sexual activity with a child at the end of his five-week Ipswich Crown Court trial.

Benson was also found not guilty of two rapes. The nationally-renown youth coach with Ipswich Harriers had denied all 21 charges.

The assaults took place over a 20-year-old period with the earliest offence dating back to the 1980s.

Benson’s victims were aged between 15 and 18 at the time.

Almost a year to the day after he was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment on May 2 last year, his appeal is due to be heard before three judges in Court 9 at the Court of Appeal next Thursday.

It is understood Benson is contesting aspects of the summing up made by the judge at his trial as well as evidential matters.

Lady Justice Sharp is expected to preside over the case alongside Mr Justice Simon and the Recorder of Leeds.

Although the hearing – which is expected to last around two hours - has been scheduled for next Thursday morning, it could still be subject to change should any party have difficulties in accommodating the date.

Late last year Mr Justice Leggatt at the Royal Courts of Justice gave approval for Benson’s appeal after considering the papers submitted on the disgraced coach’s behalf.

During Benson’s trial the court heard how he was controlling and manipulative. He abused the three promising athletes after convincing them and their parents they could be stars of the future.

Sentencing Benson, Judge David Goodin described his crimes as a “terrible catalogue of abuse”.

The judge added: “Over the years you ruthlessly and repeatedly betrayed the trust of parents and daughters, callously and adroitly exploiting the relationship between you and parents and between you and the child and between the child and parents.

“In the case of each of your three victims you became a trusted family friend – you made sure you did and as you groomed these three young athletes for success on the track and the field you groomed them also to succumb to your sexual demands making it plain at the very least that if they rejected you they would in doing so reject their coach and lose the success that meant so much to them.”

Sam Allardyce has left his job as England manager by mutual consent, the Football Association has announced. Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

England manager Sam Allardyce has left the position after just one match in charge.

The University of Suffolk, Waterfron Campus in Ipswich.

Universities across Suffolk and Essex have been recognised in the latest Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide – with the University of Suffolk celebrating its entry for the first time.

(Top) Old CCTV daytime images from Colchester Borough Council, and (below) new images with upgraded cameras.

Improved CCTV coverage in Colchester town centre is being heralded by the borough council.

Photo by Angela Sharpe of Ellough Park Raceway

A man in his early 60s died after being involved in a go-kart collision at a popular racetrack while celebrating his brother’s birthday.

Something Wicked This Way Comes  family entertainment at the Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds at the weekend.  Lily, 13, and Coral, 11,  Barras and Ryan Flack, 4, meet the scary  Witchfinder General, Hogsback Sal and 14th Century Wisewoman.

A spooky weekend was held at a Bury St Edmunds museum as the tales of witches and witchfinders were brought to life.

Kesgrave Town Council offices, Ferguson Way, Ipswich. 

ES 20.2.12

Councillors in Kesgrave are set to tackle problem areas for broadband speeds in the town, and need residents’ input on slow zones.

The Robert Ransome pub in Ipswich.

The Robert Ransome pub in Ipswich is being put up for sale, it can be revealed.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24