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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Llandudno businessman hid women's designer handbags in bid to get rape and assault allegations dropped, court hears



Steven Stanley Dickens outside Caernarfon crown court
Steven Stanley Dickens outside Caernarfon crown court

A businessman promised to reveal where he had hidden a woman’s designer handbags if she dropped her allegations of rape and assault against him, a court heard.
Steven Stanley Dickens, 52, of Mostyn Avenue, Craig y Don, Llandudno, denies three allegations of intentionally perverting the course of justice during calls made to the woman and an associate in October 2014 while he was on remand in Altcourse Prison, Liverpool.
Prosecutor Elen Owen, in her closing speech to a jury at the second day of a trial at Caernarfon Crown Court, said there was “clear evidence” Dickens had intended to persuade the woman to retract her claims.
In a recorded call from Altcourse, Dickens told the woman: “I’ll tell you something to sway you. I have got all your (designer) bags. I can even tell you where they are. If you go go the solicitor today I can get out tomorrow.”
Miss Owen said the defendant was getting “increasingly desperate”
“It was the most extreme sort of emotional pressure and emotional blackmail,” she added.
Dickens was unanimously acquitted by a jury of all the rape and assault charges against him after a trial in March last year.
Miss Owen told the jury: “This trial is concerned with what happened in the weeks and months leading up to that trial.”
She said the defendant had “unlawfully sought to interfere with the course of justice” while he was on remand awaiting his trial.
During these calls he had allegedly tried to persuade the woman not to proceed with her complaints about physical and sexual abuse.
Miss Owen said: “He knew he wasn’t allowed to speak to her. He knew he was up to no good.”
Reading some of the two hours of evidence, Miss Owen said the defendant had told an associate “I’ll be doing 10 to 15 years, tell her, minimum”, unless the woman could be persuaded to drop the charges.
Asking the jury to find the defendant guilty, Miss Owen said: “Perverting the course of justice is a criminal offence. Justice relies on witnesses coming to court to give evidence without fear or favour.”
Neither Dickens nor the woman were called on by their barristers to give evidence.
Defence barrister Ben Morris will give his closing speech to the jury tomorrow before Recorder Simon Mills gives his summing up.