Orthodox man appeals against his conviction

An Orthodox Jewish man who was jailed for three years for indecent assault of a child under the age of 16 is appealing against his conviction.

Menachem Mendel Levy, 41, from Golders Green, was found guilty on two charges of indecent assault against the girl.

He was acquitted on seven other charges, including rape and attempted rape, after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

Levy’s conviction was secured in a retrial after the jury could not come to a decision on any of the charges in the first trial. His legal team is currently preparing an appeal against his prison term.

Handing down the sentence at Wood Green Crown Court, Judge James Patrick said the victim was 14 years old when family friend Levy initiated sexual activity, more than a decade ago.

Judge Patrick told Levy: “You abused your position and you abused her.”

He said Levy was a “hard-working family man” but also “arrogant and manipulative”.

Levy, a married father with six children, had claimed the sexual contact was part of an extramarital affair that took place when the girl was over the age of 16.

His second wife, who is pregnant with his child, has stood by him and attended court for the sentencing.

Many of Levy’s supporters were also present in court. His lawyer, Tania Griffiths, read from numerous letters of support, including several from rabbis. The letters described him as a “changed man” and “a man of great compassion”.

Judge Patrick rejected the suggestion that Levy should receive a lighter sentence because he had always admitted there was a sexual relationship.

He said: “You grossly abused the child of your friends, and the trust that they placed in you. You must now pay the price.”

Detective Constable Alistair Woods, from Barnet Police, said afterwards: “The victim has shown a tremendous amount of courage to come forward and give a detailed account of the abuse she suffered.”

    Last updated: 6:45pm, July 4 2013