A HOLIDAYMAKER who admitted raping a woman after a night out in Blackpool has won the first round of a challenge to his convictions.
Ryan Oldfield, 19, of Westminster Road, Morecambe, was jailed for six years and three months at Preston Crown Court last November, after he admitted rape, sexual assault and theft of his alleged victim’s mobile phone.
But he has been given the chance to appeal against the convictions for the sex offences by judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, who directed the case should be given a full hearing.
His QC, Anthony Evans, told the appeal court Oldfield was left with “no option” but to plead guilty, after being told he could face an indefinite jail term if he didn’t admit the crimes.
Mr Justice Nicol, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Keith, told the court the alleged victim claimed she had met Oldfield on Blackpool Promenade after a night out in May 2010 and he had raped and sexually assaulted her, before stealing her phone.
Oldfield, who was serving with the Royal Engineers at the time, admitted having sex with the woman, but said it was consensual in interview. He confessed to taking the mobile phone.
Preston Crown Court has earlier been told how the alleged victim was on a night out with friends until the early hours of a Bank Holiday weekend. Oldfield came across her, asking for directions.
The court was told they had gone to eat at a fast food outlet together, before – it was claimed - he took her down an alleyway off the Promenade and carried out the alleged sex attack.
Oldfield switched legal teams after he admitted the crimes and, by the time he came to be sentenced, wanted to retract his guilty pleas.
But a judge at Preston Crown Court refused to allow that and went on to jail him for the offences he had admitted.
Granting permission to appeal, Mr Justice Nicol said Oldfield had raised “at least arguable” grounds of challenge.
No date was set for the full hearing of his appeal, which it is estimated will take two hours.