employee when she made a duty visit to his home has had his 'unduly
lenient' prison sentence increased from six years to eight by the
Criminal Appeal Court in London.
jailed on December 17 last year at Bolton Crown Court after being
He received concurrent terms of six years for three attempted
rapes, three years for three indecent assaults and one year for making
a threat to kill.
The Appeal Court upheld the Attorney General's submission that
the sentences were 'unduly lenient' and substituted terms of eight
years, six years and two years respectively for the three groups of
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Bingham, sitting with Mr. Justice
Brian Smedley and Mr. Justice Thomas, stated: 'The trial judge's scale
of sentencing was seriously too low.
'Appropriate sentences following a contested trial would have
been nine years for the attempted rapes, seven years for the indecent
assaults and three years for the threat to kill.
'However this is the second time Sheppard had had to face the
ordeal of a sentencing exercise and some discount is to be made'.
Lord Bingham said Sheppard attacked a 28-year-old woman
employed by Wigan MBC when she made a pre-arranged duty call at his home last June while his wife was in hospital and his three young children were elsewhere.
Before she arrived he had closed curtains and after admitting
her he locked the door and put the keys in his pocket.
Sheppard, who was drunk, told her to take off her clothes and
as she started to do so he ordered her upstairs.
She was very frightened and feared the consequences if she did
not obey. He put his hands around her throat and said he would slit it
if she told anyone. Sheppard then committed the sexual offences.
After an hour-long ordeal she eventually managed to persuade
him to let her leave. In her car she became hysterical before reporting the incident.
She said that since the attack she had been unable to live
alone, her personality had been affected, her self-esteem lowered and
she was unable to carry out the type of work she had been doing.
Mr. Richard Whittam for the Attorney General told the Appeal
Court that aggravating features included: Sheppard attacked a public
servant in the course of her duty, threatened to kill her, persisted
in attempts to rape her and subjected her to sexual indignities.