Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

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.”

Weapons discovered in Jubilee Park.

Knives and a hammer were found in an Ipswich park by police officers who are working to tackle drug dealing in one of the town’s most deprived areas.

Watch the new equestrian challenge

There are just days to go until the gates open for the 2016 Suffolk Show, and with an action packed programme set to please visitors, organisers have shared their top 10 new things to enjoy at this year’s show:

A road/rail vehicle used to install new overhead wires at Shenfield in Essex.

If it’s a bank holiday, Network Rail must be closing the main line to London again!

Inspector Julian Ditcham breath testing a motorist.

A drink-driver caught after leaving a Felixstowe pub has been banned from the road.

The A-10 aircraft heads along the A14 from RAF Alconbury to Bentwaters Cold War Museum on the former RAF Bentwaters airfield.

It was once a familiar sight over Suffolk – but the A-10 Thunderbolt II has been seldom seen since the twin bases of Bentwaters and Woodbridge closed in 1993.

Photo issued by Essex Police of James Fairweather. Photo: Essex Police/PA Wire

A double murderer who killed two people in less than three months hopes to appeal his jail sentence on the grounds it is “excessive.”

Pupils at Bealings Primary School plant seeds as part of Rocket Science experiment

The impact of microgravity and radiation on the growing of seedlings is being investigated in an experiment which has seen pupils at Bealings Primary School turn to scientists.

Suffolk County Council and Active Norfolk Aviva Women's Tour media ride launched in Southwold on Wednesday 25th May.

Some of the best female cyclists in the world visited Suffolk yesterday as preparations for next month’s Aviva Women’s Tour.

Ipswich Town have signed up for the 'Pigs Gone Wild' event. Lee Hyde (left), Neil Hawes and Rosie Richardson are pictured with the pig.

With a bolt through his neck, a ripped black suit and a green tinge to his skin, Frankenswine looks just like the fictional character that inspired his design.

Chris May's family: Mum Lorraine May and sisters Gemma and Charlene May.

The family of missing Kelvedon man Chris May have asked anyone withholding any information which might help solve his disappearance to call police and help end their “suffering”.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24