A bereaved dad who tried to molest a teenage girl during a drinking binge following his son’s murder has lost a bid to have his jail term cut.
Craig Butterworth exposed himself to the 16-year-old before trying to grope her at a party in January last year – nearly a year after son, Kieran, was stabbed to death in Harehills, Leeds.
The 43-year-old, of Brooklands Crescent, Havercroft, Wakefield, was jailed for nine months at Leeds Crown Court in June after being found guilty of attempted sexual assault and indecent exposure.
At a hearing at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, lawyers for Butterworth said he was suffering from depression and drinking heavily following Kieran’s death when he committed the offences.
They said he had lost his job after being jailed and argued his personal mitigation was “powerful and beyond the norm”.
They claimed the crown court judge – who ignored a probation service recommendation to hand him a community punishment – didn’t take enough account of the strain he was under and his sentence was “far too tough”. Butterworth’s jail term should have been suspended as an act of “mercy”, the lawyers argued.
But the appeal was dismissed by top judges, who said the sentence was justified in light of the seriousness of the offences.
Mr Justice Sweeney said the decision to send him to prison was justified. He added: “Whilst it may be the case that some judges might have suspended the sentence, it seems to us that the decision by this judge not to do so cannot be faulted.”
Kieran died from stab wounds after being attacked by Ghanu Stout, of Lupton Avanue, Harehills, in Bellbrooke Street over a drugs debt in February 2013. Stout, now aged 29, was jailed for life.