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Appeal denied in sexual assault case

Appeal denied in sexual assault case

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Appeal denied in sexual assault case

A man found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman in Town before going on the run has had his appeal against the length of his sentence rejected.

A Court of Appeal consisting of three judges heard that Robert Leonczuk, a Polish national working in Guernsey at the time of the assault, was not eligible for a reduction on the four years and two months he was sentenced to earlier this year.

The victim, one of a wedding party visiting from the UK, was alone in Folies D'Amour nightclub on 30 July 2016 when the appellant began to make approaches on her, including grabbing her backside. This was accepted by the court to be an uninvited advance as was the rest of his conduct that evening. 

Later on, the man picked up the victim from behind as she was sitting on a wall outside of the club, the two could be seen leaving towards the tourist information centre in CCTV footage shown at the original trial. Somewhere around the area of the Crown Pier steps, the appeal court had heard, the victim was pushed up against shop windows and sexually assaulted.

After punching the man in an attempt to get away the woman hailed a taxi and returned to her friend’s house who saw she was upset and helped her get to  the police station where she made her complaint against Leonczuk. 


Pictured: Folies D'amour where the appellant first approached the victim. 

After his arrest the appellant spent three years on the run for the offences. When he was eventually re-arrested in London he had to be tried separately for assaulting the police officer who detained him. 

Leonczuk pleaded not guilty to the offence of sexual assault in the Royal Court in Guernsey earlier this year. His given excuse - that the victim had accepted to return home with him for a price, before arguing over the amount - was completely rejected by the Jurats. 

Acting on his defence in the appeal case, Advocate Sam Steel submitted the sentence he was given was manifestly excessive comparing it to the sentencing guidelines used in the UK for assault by penetration under the Sexual Offences Act (2003) which would hold a starting point of five years before any discount was applied. 

The three presiding judges however found that Guernsey was not bound to adhere to the sentences handed down in UK courts in any way. 

"The fact it took three years to come to court was something that would weigh heavily on [the victim]," said Q.C Clare Montgomery, who read the final judgement. 

"The argument is that it should've been looked at in relation to the UK law. [Guernsey] is free to decide that the setencing levels in England are too low or too high. There is evidence to say the sentencing should've started at four years. This behaviour showed signs of sexual entitlement that show he is a danger to women and should not have been given any discount at all. We find that the sentence was appropriate," she said.  

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