School athletics coach jailed for 16 years after sexually assaulting pupils set to appeal conviction
A school athletics coach jailed for 16 years for sexually assaulting teenage girl pupils over two decades is appealing against his conviction, it emerged yesterday.
Stephen Benson, 50, took three Olympic hopefuls under his wing but groomed them for sex.
The perverted PE teacher wormed his way into their families and even went for meals at their homes.
His vulnerable victims submitted to his sexual demands until they were old enough to know better and managed to break away.
Benson, from Copdock, Suffolk, was convicted of nine rape charges and eight indecent assaults and two counts of sexual activity with a child at Ipswich Crown Court on May 2.
He claimed he had sexual relationships with only two of the girls but said they were consensual.
Now Benson has formally lodged an appeal against his conviction with Ipswich Crown Court as that is where his trial was heard.
The matter will be forwarded to the Royal Courts of Justice in London where the submission will be considered.
The former Ipswich Harriers coach is also considering appealing again his 16 year jail term, Benson’s legal team have said yesterday (Mon).
But Benson’s legal team refused to elaborate on the specific nature of the objection to his conviction.
Sue Threadkell, of solicitors Saunders, Goodin and Riddleston, said: “We have lodged an appeal against conviction and are considering an appeal against sentence.”
One of Benson’s victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, yesterday (Mon) said she would be “devastated” if his conviction and sentence were overturned.
She said: “I would be devastated if he did get an appeal against sentence and if an appeal affects the conviction or sentencing because I feel the sentence he has got is just for the crime he committed.
“Anything less I could not even think about.”