Former Sunday Telegraph deputy news editor Ben Leapman jailed for seven years for rape

Former Sunday Telegraph deputy news editor Ben Leapman has today been jailed for seven years.

Leapman (pictured by Mike Gunnill) was convicted of raping a woman in July after previously being found guilty of downloading child sex abuse images.

The Kent Messenger reports that during his trial, Charles Danniells-Smith, defending, told the court Leapman sought “pressure release” by getting involved in a fantasy world after “single-handedly uncovering” the MPs’ expenses scandal.

The 43-year-old former journalist was convicted of one specimen rape charge by an 11-1 majority and acquitted of two others. He denied all three charges. 

In July, the Kent Messenger successfully applied for the judge to lift an order enabling it to report on Leapman’s previous convictions from last August for four offences of making indecent photos of a child and four of publishing an obscene article.

He was sentenced for the previous offence last August to nine months in prison, suspended for 12 months, with supervision and was also ordered to complete an internet sex offender course.

The paper reports that Judge Martin Joy told said of Leapman's crime: "You knew you were obsessed with the sexual abuse of her, and it was depraved conduct. She was forced to suffer pain in silence.

"You were a distinguished man in your profession."

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