Norwich solicitor’s appeal against sex offences conviction turned down
- Credit: Copyright Archant Norfolk Ltd
A disgraced Norwich solicitor, jailed for raping and sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl, can have no complaint about his conviction, top judges have ruled.
'Successful' Michael Andrew Hynes, 51, saw his glittering career as a legal eagle destroyed by the exposure of his vile sex offences and drug habit.
Hynes, of Upper Street, Salhouse, was jailed for 11 years at Norwich Crown Court in November, 2009, after he was convicted of multiple sex crimes, including rape and sexual activity with a child.
On Tuesday, three of the country's most senior judges at London's Appeal Court rejected a conviction challenge by Hynes, saying there is 'nothing' to suggest the guilty verdicts against him were unsafe.
Lord Justice Lloyd Jones said Hynes 'regularly used hard drugs', buying one to two grams of cocaine a day for about a year, until his 'behaviour deteriorated markedly' in the mid-2000s.
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It was shortly after this drug-enduced slump that Hynes' catalogue of sex offences on a young girl surfaced.
He denied everything, but was found guilty by a jury of twice raping the girl as well as sexual activity with a child and assault by penetration.
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Hynes was also found guilty of inflicting actual bodily harm on a woman in an unconnected incident.
Applying to appeal, Hynes' lawyers argued that he did not receive a fair trial because, they claimed, prosecutors failed to disclose evidence that had been found on a mobile phone connected to the child victim.
However, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, sitting with Mr Justice Singh and Judge Stephen Kramer QC, said that evidence had in fact been made available to the defence and that, in any event, it had no bearing on the strength of the convictions.
'It seems to us that these matters, now that they have come to light, related to matters which were totally peripheral,' he added.
'Moreover, it seems to us that the submissions made on behalf of Hynes are nothing more than speculation in an attempt to fish to see whether something might be found which may be of assistance.
'There is nothing here which can, in any event, afford any basis for allowing an appeal. Furthermore, there is nothing here to suggest to us that the convictions are unsafe.'