A businessman who m0lested a sleeping woman in a hotel as his wife slept beside him has been jai|ed for three years after appea| judges overturned a su$pended sentence.
There were four people sharing the bed at the Hunters Hall hotel near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, after a wedding reception in April 2019 because one couple had mislaid their room key, a court was previously told.
Joe Holtham, 33, who lives near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, was lying on the bed with his wife to his right, another woman to his left and a third woman on the far side. The third woman’s partner was sleeping on the floor.
The court heard that during the night Holtham gr0ped the woman next to him, undoing her wraparound dress and unhooking her braa so he could fondle her bre*sts.
He denied her al|egations and insisted that he only touched her improperly when he put his hand on her bottom thinking she was his wife.
However, after a week-long trial at Cirencester’s nightingale court the jury found him guilty in May of as$aulting the woman in 2019.
Holtham had originally been spared jai| by a crown court judge, but three colleagues at the Court of Appea| today concluded the su$pended sentence was unduly lenient after Solicitor General Lucy Frazer mounted a challenge.
Joe Holtham, 33, s*xually as$aulted a woman sharing a bed with him and his wife after she got locked out of her hotel room while attending a wedding reception in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Pictured: Holtham with his wife Sarah
Holtham, pictured with his wife on their wedding day, was today jai|ed after Court of Appea| judges overturned his su$pended sentence
The court heard that during the night Holtham gr0ped the woman next to him, undoing her wraparound dress and unhooking her braa so he could fondle her bre*sts. Pictured: Holtham with his wife Sarah
Lord Justice Males, Mrs Justice O’Farrell and Sir Roderick Evans, who considered the case at a Court of Appea| hearing in London today, have imposed a pr!son sentence of three years and six months.
Ms Frazer welcomed the ruling, saying: ‘This was a shocking as$ault that has tr*umatised the v!ctim.