An orthodox man who repeatedly molested an underage girl will miss his eldest son’s barmitzvah after failing in an Appeal Court bid to clear his name.
Menachem Mendel Levy sexually assaulted the victim a number of times, starting when she was aged just 13, over a decade ago.
The 41-year-old father-of-six, of Princes Park Avenue, Golders Green, was jailed for three years last June after being found guilty of two counts of indecent assault. He was cleared of one count of rape.
At Levy’s trial, claims emerged that the girl had asked her abuser to come clean in front of a local rabbi in 2010. Levy refused and she went to the police.
Levy denies abuse or sexual relations with the girl while she was under the age of consent but says they had “consensual” sex after that.
Tania Griffiths, QC, had argued against Levy’s conviction and sentence, saying he was known for “helping out in schools, in the community and doing all sorts of religious work”.
“This man is a very religious man. We have a changed man, literally a changed man,” she said. “This is a man who was trying to make things better before the police ever came and darkened his doorstep. This man is a real family man. He has a baby of two months who he has never seen.”
Mr Justice Fulford, sitting with Mr Justice Griffith Williams and His Honour Judge Griffith-Jones, said: “In reality, there was no risk of confusion”, referring to ‘unhelpful’ remarks in the trial judge’s summing-up. He said there was “no substance” – not even a “lurking doubt” that jurors were pressurised into returning guilty verdicts.
“There is simply no such evidence,” he said. “The verdicts are safe and this appeal against conviction is dismissed. “The judge was entitled to accept the victim’s evidence that the abuse began when she was 14. “The judge was fully entitled to reach the conclusion that no real remorse has been shown.”