A paedophile and former policeman who subjected a schoolgirl to sickening sex crimes must serve extra time behind bars after pursuing a “hopeless” bid to clear his name, top judges have ruled.
Dean Arthur Bennellick, 65, who lived in Plympton, Devon, at the time, targeted the six-year-old girl with horrendous abuse more than 30 years ago.
Having later moved to Dorset, he was brought to justice after thousands of indecent images of children were discovered on his computer decades later.
Bennellick, of Rhode Barton, Lyme Regis, was caged for 11 years at Truro Crown Court in July, 2009.
He was convicted of seven counts of indecent assault and admitted counts of making and possessing indecent images of kids.
Three senior judges at London’s Appeal Court today firmly rejected his conviction challenge.
Instead Bennellick was ordered to serve an extra month in jail for wasting the court’s time with his “hopeless and unmeritorious” appeal.
Lady Justice Hallett said Bennellick launched various attacks on the girl, including while she sat on his lap and during perverted photography sessions.
He groped her, put his hand into her underwear and urged her to perform sex acts.
Bennellick evaded justice until 2007, when police seized his computer and discovered more than 2,000 indecent images of children at various levels of seriousness.
He had downloaded the depraved images over a four-year period.
The abuse victim, who had kept her suffering a secret because she thought no one would believe her, then came forward to police.
Despite admitting the offences in relation to the perverted images, Bennelick denied assaulting the girl, insisting she had “fabricated” her claims in a bid for financial compensation.
Bennellick was disbelieved by the jury and convicted of molesting the girl.
His lawyers today tried to bring in new evidence, relating to the victim’s financial position, and argued his convictions were “unsafe”
But Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Cranston and Mr Justice Knowles, said the material could have been presented at the trial and was of little relevance.
She also rejected a bid by Bennellick to adduce evidence from another witness, along with more of his own testimony.
The judge said Bennellick had been warned in advance that his appeal stood little or no chance of success.
“Despite this warning, he has pursued the application and taken the precious time and resources of this court away from meritorious cases,” she added.
“This was, in our judgment, always a totally hopeless and unmeritorious application.
“Accordingly, for these reasons, we order that 28 days, which the appellant has spent in custody whilst awaiting determination of these applications, should not count towards his sentence.
“The applications are refused.”