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Warwickshire Man Who Sexually Assaulted Sleeping Woman is Handed Immediate Prison Sentence

Joe Holtham has been imprisoned following an intervention by the Solicitor General, the Rt Hon Lucy Frazer QC MP


A Warwickshire sex offender has been imprisoned following an intervention by the Solicitor General, the Rt Hon Lucy Frazer QC MP.


After attending a wedding on 11 April 2019, Joe Holtham, 33, and a group friends returned to their hotel where they had booked multiple rooms. The group could not locate two of the room keys and decided to all sleep in the offender’s room.


While one woman was asleep beside him, Holtham sexually assaulted her, causing her to wake up. Once she became aware of what was happening, she tried to wake another guest and fled to the bathroom.


The next day, the missing keys to the hotel rooms were found in Holtham’s pocket.


On 7 May 2021, Holtham was convicted of two counts of assault by penetration. On 15 June 2021 he was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months at Gloucester Crown Court.


Following the Court’s decision, the Solicitor General referred Holtham’s case to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme. On 20 August 2021, the Court found his sentence to be unduly lenient and handed down an immediate term of 3 years and 6 months’ imprisonment.


After the hearing at the Court of Appeal the Solicitor General, Rt Hon Lucy Frazer QC MP, said:

This was a shocking assault that has traumatised the victim. I am glad the Court of Appeal has increased his sentence today and I hope this brings the victim some comfort.

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