Jail for abuser who shared video of sexual assault

A sex offender has been jailed after police identified him from a video he shared of a violent sexual assault on a mobile app.

Leslie Richards, of Eastbrook Avenue in Dagenham, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault by penetration and one count of causing actual bodily harm.

The Crown Prosecution Service had agreed to charge Richards with rape, two counts of assault by penetration, engaging in a controlling and coercive relationship, and causing actual bodily harm.

He initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, but shortly before the trial in January, he had guilty pleas for the two counts of assault by penetration and causing actual bodily harm accepted by the courts.

Richards was sentenced to three years in prison on Thursday April 11, as well as being given an indefinite restraining order to prevent him from contacting the victim and being added to the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Police Constable Winn, the officer who led the investigation, said: “Richards was an appalling and calculated abuser. The level of control he tried to exert over this victim in this case was huge.”

In January 2021, Richards threatened to kill his victim and attacked her, causing serious injuries to their arms, legs and chest.

He then forced her to perform a sexual act and recorded it sharing it on a mobile application.

A member of the public who saw her profile online quickly informed the police. Officers were able to identify both Richards and his victim from this video and arrested him, where he disputed the evidence and denied the victim’s account.

Detective Sergeant John James Hogan-Davis, of the Adult Sexual Abuse Investigation Team, added: “If you are the victim of domestic abuse or sexual violence, please speak to us. You will be listened to and you will be supported.”