A judge praised a victim’s bravery as he gave a child sex abuser an 18-year sentence at Hove Crown Court this morning (Friday 2 February).
Judge Gary Lucie praised Stephen Lewsey, 51, who waived his right to anonymity as he thanked Sussex Police and urged other victims to come forward.
Judge Lucie jailed 74-year-old Glenn Langrish, who now calls himself Glenn Stephens, and who was extradited to face justice in a case that took 13 years to bring to court.
Langrish was in his thirties when he first made contact with Mr Lewsey, who was then 10, using CB (citizens band) radio in the 1980s.
James Oliveira-Agnew, prosecuting, told the court that none of those early conversations were sexual. They arranged to meet up, he said, and Langrish offered Mr Lewsey a Saturday job.
Langrish worked at a lawnmower repair shop called Ree-Even Hire at their shops in Portland Road, Hove, and in Crawley. The job was at the Crawley store where much of the abuse took place.
Mr Oliveira-Agnew said that Langrish also gave Mr Lewsey lifts to and from work, driving via Lowfield Heath, near Gatwick, where he also carried out abuse in his car.
Mr Oliveira Agnew, standing in for trial counsel Rachel Beckett, added: “There was a significant degree of planning.
“The defendant had already been convicted of sexually assaulting numerous boys by the time he offered the victim a Saturday job. He had an entrenched sexual interest in young boys.
“Further, the defendant, as the employer of the victim at the relevant time, abused a position of trust. This is particularly true as the defendant provided transport to and from the place of work.”
The abuse ended after three to four years, the court was told, when Mr Lewsey left the job and Langrish was jailed for four years for abusing other boys.
He had previous similar convictions going back to the early 1970s – when he was in his early twenties – and had been sentenced to probation in one case at the Old Bailey.
In 1994, he moved to Sweden with his partner and became a Swedish citizen. The court was told that she was standing by Langrish.
And in 2011 Mr Lewsey went to the police to report what had happened to him – but it proved hard to trace Langrish.
As well as moving abroad, he had changed his name to Stephens – and, once he was traced, it was not possible to extradite him.
An international arrest warrant was issued and, when Langrish made a visit to Poland, he was arrested and, from there, extradited to Britain. He was then arrested at Heathrow.
Joy Dykers, defending, said that Langrish had no record of offending in Sweden. She said: “Nothing I say is intended to minimise his offending.
“But that 35-year period of no offending (since he was jailed in the late 1980s) should be taken into account.”
Miss Dykers said that Langrish was retired, having lived and worked in Sweden, in Vendelso, just outside Stockholm, in a variety of jobs and where he also ran his own business.
Judge Lucie, who also presided at Langrish’s trial at Chichester Crown Court last month, said: “No sentence that I can pass can put right what has happened.”
He had to reflect the number of offence – eight charges each relating to at least five offences – and the prolonged nature of the abuse, aggravated by the significant disparity in age.
The judge said: “The offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”
He said that he was bound by sentencing guidelines and that, if some of the offences had been committed more recently, Langrish could have faced a longer stretch in prison.
The judge said: “Your actions have clearly had a profound impact on Mr Lewsey and his life and others around him. And you put him through the trauma of a trial.
“This was regular serious offending over a prolonged period and you had already been convicted of similar offences at the time.
“Given the gravity of these offences, it sems to me that I must impose the maximum sentence that I can on each count.”
The judge sentenced Langrish to 18 years in total, with 15 years in custody and three years on extended licence.
He told Langrish, who is due to turn 75 this month, that he would have to serve at least nine years and eight months in prison before he could be considered for parole.
Langrish was ordered to register as a sex offender for life and was served with a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting Mr Lewsey.
In court, Mr Lewsey told Langrish: “The police have asked if they can do a press release and have said that I can remain anonymous but I have no shame now.
“I realise it wasn’t me. It was you that was wrong and I hope more people come forward. I now know you are in a place where you cannot harm another young person – and for that I am grateful.”
To read the rest of the victim impact statement that Mr Lewsey shared with the court, click here.