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Two men who raped 17-year-old girl jailed

|News, Sexual offences , Violent crime

Ashley Lewis, 36, and Dylan Holden, 18, acted together, taking advantage of the 17-year-old victim who was so intoxicated she was unable to walk without assistance.

Lewis, described in court as a “sexual predator”, travelled down to Brighton from London on the day of the offence in June 2021 and spent part of the afternoon covertly filming women on the beach, where he later met the victim.

He went on to jointly rape and sexually assault the victim with Holden in the city’s Royal Pavilion Gardens.

Lewis stole the victim’s bag, which contained her mobile phone, bank cards and purse, after the attack.

Holden, who was known to the victim, sent her text messages, feigning concern for her and claiming he had tried to protect her.

The two men had not met each other before that day, but DNA evidence linked them both to the attack. 

Hove Crown Court heard the victim had been chatting to friends on the beach but remembered nothing further about the evening.

Passers-by saw the attack and intervened, taking her home in a taxi.

Adele Kelly, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East, said: “Ashley Lewis was a sexual predator, filming women covertly on Brighton beach that day before targeting the victim.

“Dylan Holden took advantage of a teenager who thought he was her friend in a gross breach of her trust.

“While she was trying to piece together the events of the evening, Holden pretended he had tried to help her, despite the fact he and Lewis had raped the teenager.

“Each defendant had denied what they had done, choosing to blame the other, but our case was clear – that they were both involved in a joint attack.

“We are committed to bringing perpetrators of these horrific crimes to justice wherever our test is met. Women should be able to enjoy their lives, at whatever time of the day or night, without the fear of predators attacking them.

“We hope today's sentencing will help the young victim’s healing process after such a traumatic incident.”

Lewis was convicted of rape, sexual assault and theft and sentenced to 16 and a half years in prison at Lewes Crown Court today, 10 February.

Holden was convicted of rape and sexual assault and sentenced to six years' imprisonment.

Lewis also went on to sexually assault another 17-year-old girl at a religious event in central London in October 2021, who challenged him and held onto him to prevent him from leaving. He pushed her away, before being stopped and arrested by police.

He was later convicted of sexual assault and assault by beating.

Notes to editors

  • Ashley Lewis [DOB: 01/02/1986] was convicted following a trial at Lewes Crown Court of the following charges relating to the attack on the woman in Brighton in June 2021: 
    • Rape
    • Sexual assault 
    • Theft of the victim’s backpack, which was found at his home 
  • In addition, he was also convicted of the following offence: 
    • Sexual assault and assault by beating of a woman in London in October 2021 
  • Lewis also pleaded guilty to voyeurism - relating to filming women on Brighton beach earlier in the day of the attack - during his trial. 
  • Dylan Holden [DOB: 01/03/2004] was convicted of the following offences: 
    • Rape
    • Sexual assault 
  • Adele Kelly is a Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS South East.

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