Former St Albans shop worker fails sex offence appeal bid

St Albans Crown Court

St Albans Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A former St Albans shop worker who was jailed for a sexual offence against a teenager has lost a Court of Appeal bid.

Mason James Sanders, 19, preyed on a 17-year-old boy and subjected him to a distressing sexual ordeal. The boy told a teaching assistant at school and then his mum, who reported it to the police.

Sanders, recorded in court documents as living in Chapel Way, Bedmond, near Abbots Langley, but now no longer affiliated with that address, was sentenced to a year’s youth custody at St Albans Crown Court in February, for a serious sex offence against the victim.

Today (Wednesday, May 2) he took his case to the Court of Appeal in London, where his lawyers claimed Sanders’s sentence should have been suspended. The court heard Sanders was remorseful for his actions, but struggled to explain what made him do it.

A probation officer who assessed him for a pre-sentence report said Sanders was at ‘medium risk’ of offending again. However his lawyers argued that the sentence he received was excessive for a ‘momentary’ encounter, which was committed without any premeditation.

Lord Justice McCombe, sitting with Judge Peter Lodder QC and Mr Justice Spencer, rejected the complaints.

He said: “In our judgement, the judge cannot be faulted in how he balanced the factors in reaching the appropriate sentence.

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“The length of the custodial sentence was clearly correct and there was no error in declining to suspend the sentence.”

The appeal was dismissed and the one year sentence was upheld.