Kent

Expenses scandal journalist Ben Leapman jailed for rape

Ben Leapman Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Ben Leapman helped to expose the scandal surrounding MPs' expenses

A former deputy news editor of the Sunday Telegraph has been jailed for seven years for raping a woman.

Ben Leapman, formerly of High Street, Eynsford, in Kent, was found guilty of one rape and cleared of two others in a trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

The 44-year-old, who had denied the charges, was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order.

In 2009, the award-winning journalist helped to expose the scandal of MPs fiddling their expenses.

The expenses scandal revealed widespread misuse of the permitted allowances claimed by MPs and led to public outrage and a loss of confidence in politics.

It resulted in resignations, sackings, de-selections and retirement announcements, together with public apologies and the repayment of expenses.

Several members or former members of the House of Commons and House of Lords were jailed.

Indecent images

Father-of-three Leapman had previously been spared an immediate jail term for a series of online child abuse offences.

In August last year, he pleaded guilty to four counts of making indecent images of children and four counts of publishing obscene articles.

The obscene articles found on his laptop related to explicit chatlogs he engaged in online on a one-to-one basis, Maidstone Crown Court heard at the time.

He received a nine-month jail term, suspended for 12 months, for the online offences, which took place between July 2008 and November 2012.

Kent Police said that following further investigation, the woman came forward to reveal she had been raped by Leapman.

The rape happened between 1 July and 28 November 2012.

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