Stoke: Rapist sentenced to six more years in prison after judges ruled sentence too lenient

The appellate judges extended the sentence of Christopher Appleby

A sex offender has had his prison sentence increased on appeal after judges ruled his initial sentence for ‘campaign rape’ was too lenient.

Christopher Appleby, 56, ‘robbed a childhood’ of one of his young victims when he raped and sexually abused her from when she was 11 years into her late teens.

He received a 15-year prison sentence for this and historic sexual abuse against two other girls while they were underage.

The case was moved to the Court of Appeal after Attorney General Alex Chalk raised concerns that the original sentence was not overly lenient.

Lord Justice Haddon-Cave, Mr Justice Hilliard and judge Mark Lucraft examined the case at a hearing in London on Thursday.

The judges said it was the ‘most serious offence’.

They heard that Appleby, of Hanford in Stoke, was given a 15-year detention term in October by judge David Fletcher after being convicted of charges including rape, attempted rape and assault decency after the hearing at Stoke-on-Trent Court. .

Judges tried him for 15 years from 1999 to 2014.

Lord Justice Haddon-Cave said magistrates had heard the breach included a ‘rape campaign’ against a victim for about eight years.

He added: ‘This case is among the most severe as it has been a long, protracted campaign of abuse.’

Judge Fletcher handed down a sentence that included 15 years in prison, followed by 5 years on a license to practice. He has also issued an Indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The appellate judges increased the sentence to 21 years in prison, then 5 years in prison.

Appleby, who watched the appeal hearing via a video link from the prison, pleaded not guilty and told the appellate judges: ‘I am an innocent man.’

Mr Chalk welcomed the increased sentence and said after the hearing: ‘It is never too late for justice to be served and Appleby’s actions are despicable.

‘I am pleased that the Court of Appeals found it appropriate to increase his sentence today and I hope it will provide some consolation to the brave victims.’

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Huynh Nguyen

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