Wembley teenager jailed for sexual assault is freed on appeal

Krupesh Lauchande, 18, has been freed on appeal. File picture: PA Wire

Krupesh Lauchande, 18, has been freed on appeal. File picture: PA Wire - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Krupesh Lauchande, 18, of Bowrons Avenue, has prison sentence replaced with community punishment order

A teenager from Wembley who was jailed for sexually assaulted a woman has been freed by judges on appeal.

London’s Appeal Court heard Krupesh Lauchande, 18, of Bowrons Avenue, was one of five youths who cornered the victim as she approached an underpass near Northwick Park Hospital.

The gang surrounded her and made jeering comments telling her: “You’re beautiful - give us a hug”.

Once she was at their mercy, Lauchande and another youth “took hold of her breasts over her clothes and squeezed them”.

Mr Justice Openshaw said: “They took it in turns to do so.

“She felt as if the whole incident lasted up to three minutes”.

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Lauchande was jailed for six months at Harrow Crown Court on June 28 after he was convicted of sexual assault. The victim was left “distressed and humiliated”, the court heard.

The judge who sentenced Lauchande noted that he was just 17 when he molested the woman, but said she had been “badly affected”.

“He described Lauchande and the others’ behaviour as outrageous and brazen,” said Mr Justice Openshaw.

But Lauchande’s legal team claimed the six-month term took insufficient account of his youth and previous good character.

He was studying at university before his case came to court and had been too ashamed to tell his own family that he was on trial for a sex offence.

Mr Justice Openshaw, sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Mr Justice Leggatt, accepted the traumatic effect of the attack on Lauchande’s victim but he concluded the six-month term was excessive in light of his age, substituting a community punishment order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

The judge’s ruling means that Lauchande is now free - having been behind bars for just over a month.