Christopher Appleby, 56, has had his prison sentence increased after being found guilty of ‘taking away the childhood’ of one of his young victims, whom he raped from the age of 11 until her late teens.
Appleby’s sentence was increased on appeal after judges ruled that his original sentence for a “rape campaign” was too lenient.
After being found guilty of raping his above-mentioned victim and two other girls when they were in their mid-teens, the convict was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison.
However, after Solicitor General, Alex Chalk expressed concern that the original sentence was too lenient, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave, Mr Justice Hilliard, and Judge Mark Lucraft heard the case in London on Thursday, December 9.
The judges who were told that Appleby of Hanford in Stoke had been sentenced to 15 years in prison by Judge David Fletcher in October after being convicted of rape, attempted rape, and indecent assault following a trial in Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, held that it was in the most severe category’ of offending.
The Judges were also informed that the convict committed these crimes over a 15-year period, from 1999 to 2014. This included an eight-year rape campaign against one victim.
According to Lord Justice Haddon-Cave:
‘This case was in the most severe category due to the fact that it was a very lengthy, sustained, campaign of abuse.’
While Judge Fletcher imposed a sentence of 15 years in prison, five years on probation, and an Indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order, the Appeal judges increased the sentence to 21 years in prison, five years on probation, and an Indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Appleby, who watched the appeal hearing from prison via video link, entered not guilty pleas and told the judges, ‘I am an innocent man.’
Mr Chalk expressed his appreciation for the increased sentence after the hearing, saying,
‘It is never too late for justice to be served and Appleby’s actions were despicable.
‘I am glad the Court of Appeal saw fit to increase his sentence today and I hope it brings some comfort to the brave victims.’