June 2002

Man jailed for ‘wicked’ sex assaults

A GWENT man who carried out a series of “wicked” sexual assaults including rape dating back to the 1970s was today starting a prison sentence.

Islwyn Huw Beecham, a 49-year-old mechanic from Bryn Heulog Terrace, Machen, was jailed for 15 years at Newport crown court today.

A jury had previously found him guilty of six counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault on two young girls, but sentencing was adjourned until today.

Nicholas Fridd, in mitigation, told the court Beecham still maintained he was innocent of the charges.

He said: “It is very difficult to mitigate in cases such as this where someone continues to deny the offences after conviction.

“However, there are two plus points, The first is that he is aged 49 and has no previous convictions and his family still continue to support him and find it difficult to believe what has happened.

“The second is that the psychological reports carried out on him did not show any characteristics typical of a sexual offender.”

Judge David Morris told Beecham: “These offences are so serious that only a long term in prison can be justified.

“You must be punished for these very wicked offences, of a persistent nature, and in a way that will deter other men from behaving in a similar way. I take into account your previous good character but you have shown no remorse for any of these offences.”

Judge Morris told him that he would not be eligible for parole until he had served at least half the sentence and it would be unlikely that he would be released until he had completed two-thirds of the sentence.

The judge also ruled that Beecham must be placed of a sexual offenders’ register for life.