Court of Appeal increase sex offender's sentence after CPS referral

17/03/2017

The Court of Appeal has increased the sentence of 35 year old Lee Heywood by 50 per cent after the CPS referred it to the Attorney General's Office to be considered as an unduly lenient sentence.

Following a five day trial in December 2016 at Manchester Mishull Street Crown Court, the jury found Lee Heywood unanimously guilty of 23 sexual offences against two young girls over a six year period.  In January 2017 he was sentenced to nine years imprisonment with a one year extended licence period.

Joanne Cunliffe, Head of the CPS North West Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit said: "Lee Heywood systematically abused two young girls over a considerable length of time.

"Both victims showed tremendous courage in giving evidence against their abuser at court. It is testament to their bravery that we were able to secure the convictions against him.

"However, we took the view that initial sentence he had been given did not reflect the seriousness of the offences he had committed. We referred the case to the Attorney General's office to be considered as an unduly lenient sentence.  Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC, in turn referred the case to London's Criminal Appeal Court who has now increased the sentence to 14 years imprisonment with a one year extended licence period.

"Young people should be able to look up to adults as future role models. Such offences can have a long lasting impact on their lives, not only at the time but well into their adult lives.

"The Crown Prosecution Service are dedicated to safeguarding children and young people and will continue to work closely with the police and other agencies to bring before the courts anyone who seeks to take advantage or abuse them in anyway."