A former Councillor and Labour candidate has been sentenced to twenty years in prison for grooming and repeatedly sexually assaulting a minor.
Former town councillor and Labour councillor candidate Adam Buckenham, 47, appeared in Salisbury Crown Court on Friday, July 14, after being found guilty of eight counts of rape and three counts of assault by penetration.
Buckenham groomed the minor, who for legal reasons has not been identified, with the girl telling the court that she felt too frightened to reject his advances.
Opening the prosecution case last year, Rob Welling told the jury that Buckenham “started small to begin with, first of all it was a peck on the lips then it was kissing with open mouth…telling her that if she loved him that was the way they should kiss”.
“[The victim] had very little insight as to what was happening and very quickly she felt out of control, she was scared to say no to him because he would get moody if he didn’t get his own way,” Mr Welling continued.
The prosecutor said that the issue of consent will need to be considered by the jury, adding: “We say that [the victim] was being groomed by the defendant”.
“He allowed himself to believe that was what [the victim] wanted,” Mr Welling said. “Her resistance was met with moods on his part that frightened her.”
Mr Welling said that in a “calculated way he (Buckenham) was able to break down her resistance overtime”.
Jurors heard that Buckenham, of York Road in Ventnor, made four recordings of the abuse and were shown a video interview the woman carried out with police in which she said that Buckenham “always said I was his girlfriend and that he loved me, and he treated it as if it was a relationship”.
She continued: “[He would say] ‘I want to spend time with my girlfriend’. I think it was just the way he spoke, he talked about us as a couple.”
The woman, then a child, said that he would “push and push until I gave in, I was too tired to carry on shooing him away”.
On Friday, Buckenham was finally sentence, receiving twenty years behind bars.
Shockingly, he is the second Councillor to be jailed for pedophilia in recent months. Despite having been found guilty of two counts of raping a girl when he was a teenager, Daryll Pitcher, 46, continued to serve as a councillor for Wootton Bridge on the Isle of Wight Council.
Pitcher, a former UKIP Councillor and MEP candidate who later founded the ‘Vectis Party’ and sat as its leader and only elected Councillor, had filed an appeal, according to the council, thus, under the current electoral laws pertaining to sitting councillors, it was not possible to dismiss him from his post.
Under the Local Government Act, a councillor is disqualified from their post if they are sentenced to three months or more in prison but Isle of Wight Council said this could not take effect until the appeal had been dropped.
In February of this year, Pitcher was sentenced to 27 months in prison and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for raping the girl between June 1990 and March 1992 when she was under the age of 16.
In a statement read out at Isle of Wight Crown Court, the victim said Pitcher “ruined her life from a young age” and what he did left her living in fear.
The court was told that the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, felt guilty for not having said anything sooner.
“At that time I was too young to comprehend what happened to me,” she said in a victim impact statement.
“I was too young and afraid and I could have not stopped it.”
A council spokesperson said that this week the authority received written notice of Pitcher’s resignation, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).
His resignation will trigger a by-election, to be held later this year.