Judges refuse to reduce sex offender’s 10-year sentence

JAIL: Robert Hayes-Danson
JAIL: Robert Hayes-Danson
Have your say

A sex offender who exploited a young girl has been told by top judges he deserves every day of his 10-year jail term.

Robert Hayes-Danson, 48, of Birch Avenue, Newton-with-Scales, near Preston, was jailed at Preston Crown Court on October 3 last year.

He was convicted of nine counts on indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.

All 11 crimes involved the same victim, who was aged 12-15 at the time, Mr Justice Cooke told London’s Appeal Court.

The girl, now in her 30s, thought she was ‘having an affair’ with Hayes-Danson but later realised what he was doing to her was wrong,

However, it was not until 2012 that his crimes came to light, said the judge.

Even after he had been charged with sex offences, he was able to rally the local community behind him – who even organised a hotpot supper to raise money for his legal fees.

Meanwhile his victim received hate mail, saying her family would be opstracised for “generations” to come.

She told the court: “I have had my reputation shattered by his family and friends. I have been disbelieved, called a liar, and a witch.”

Hayes-Danson’s lawyers told the Appeal Court that his jail term was far too tough given his otherwise unblemished character. They also pointed to the impact of imprisonment on his family and and business.

But Mr Justice Cooke said Hayes-Danson’s punishment was ‘carefully considered’ and ‘beyond criticism’.

“This was a clear case, on the jury’s findings, of exploitation by Hayes-Danson of a 12-15-year-old girl,” he said.

The judge, who was sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Judge Johannah Cutts QC, refused the appeal.