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A former Eversheds Sutherland trainee has been jailed for eight years for sexually assaulting two women at a colleague's house-warming party. 

Tom Hagyard, 25 at the time, attended the party at a flat in Fulham in October 2017. He had only recently started as a trainee at Eversheds, and earlier that evening had treated his parents and sisters to a Michelin star meal to celebrate his first pay-cheque.

At the party, a female law student took herself to bed after drinking heavily. She was "sound asleep" when Hagyard "began to touch her sexually" the Isleworth Crown Court heard, according to a report in the Daily Mail

The woman told the court that she was "nine or ten-out-of-ten drunk", but woke up to find Hagyard on top of her. "I was going in and out of consciousness and did not think I could move. I froze a bit...I remember trying to push him away." She added, "I kept my eyes closed for a bit and I remember feeling confused. He was on top of me and I was in pain. I felt like I could not move or fight him off."

Richard Job for the prosecution said Hagyard then groped another woman who was sleeping in the lounge. The second woman "was woken at 5.30am by someone touching her chest," said Job. "The top of her bra had been pulled to one side and a man's hand was on her breast. She felt his mouth next to her ear and the words: 'Shush. It's okay'."

Hagyard was "crouched by her", said Job, "and having touched her breast he moved his hand to her belt and began to undo the buckle. She was scared and she got up and went quickly to the host's bedroom."

Hagyard claimed the sexual activity was consensual and that both women were "enjoying it."

In her victim impact statement the first woman said it was "re-traumatising and haunting" for Hagyard to claim that she consented, even though she was "unconscious." She said "the nightmares I have in relation to the assaults are impossible to shake off," and she felt ashamed that she did not fight back.

The second woman said in her statement, “I am grieving for the loss of my old self, I miss her deeply." She added that she hoped Hagyard sought resolution so he did not harm anyone else.

Recorder Simon Russell Flint QC berated Hagyard for claiming that the women consented. "You have concocted an account you hoped would be accepted and you have caused each of them severe psychological harm, plus harm to your more than loving supportive family”, he said.

"Your family will have to face the reality their son, who was destined to be a highly successful solicitor, is a sex offender, who preyed on two young women," said Flint QC. "This has all gone, due to your conduct in that hour that has caused so much devastation to people's lives. This is a tragic case for those two ladies and tragic for what you have brought on your family." 

The court convicted Hagyard of two counts of assault by penetration in relation to the first woman and two counts of sexual assault in relation to the second woman. The jury failed to reach a verdict on one count of rape for the first woman.

"Eversheds Sutherland (International) can confirm that Tom Hagyard joined the firm in September 2017 as a trainee solicitor," a spokeswoman for the firm told RollOnFriday. "He was suspended immediately following his arrest, and did not resume his position before leaving the firm in June 2018."

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Comments

Click clack 22 October 21 10:03

I met the lad during the LPC, we both studied it at BPP Holborn. Seemed decent enough but definitely had a certain creepiness about him, especially when on the sauce.

RIP life.

Anon 22 October 21 10:36

Not sure what the above poster means about a brutal sentencing.  He raped one woman and sexually assaulted another when they were semi conscious.  Eight years of which he will serve half is by no means brutal.  It’s fair and just.  It will ruin his life because he won’t ever work in the law or any profession again. The poor women involved have had their lives damaged severely too by his actions.  

Anonymous 22 October 21 10:42

@Anon - I mean, I agree with most of your post, but it's not technically true to say that he 'raped' the first woman. The charge was what the charge was, and that's what he did.

I say that not to diminish his actions - they were wrong and the punishment is right - but we ought to use the word rape accurately and sparingly, or it starts to lose its meaning and take on a bit of 'cry wolf' aspect (or it's like calling every fight at a pub a 'murder').

It's a very serious thing and it ought to be held in reserve for those situations where it's accurate to say it.

You Know Who 22 October 21 10:43

Is there any evidence for any of this?

Can we be sure that this wasn't all just made up by a jealous person?

False allegations are very serious!

Anonymous 22 October 21 11:11

There's no evidence at all apart from whatever was said in court which appears to have convinced a jury to convict him,  Presumably two jealous people who were so jealous of Eversheds or Michelin starred dining or something that they concocted similar stories of sexual assault.  T*@t.

Anonymous 22 October 21 11:19

@11.11 - you have no evidence that anything was said in court.

The entire process may have taken place using only mime and semaphore, or even interpretive dance, so you cannot make any judgement or inference at all about what was said or done during it.

Your remarks about Michelin starred dining are similarly unevidenced, you have no proof that anyone ate any of the food which the subject of this article is alleged to have ordered. For all you know he and his family may have simply gazed at their dishes longingly for an hour before donating them to the local homelessness shelter, or hurling them at a passing waiter for sport.

Do you see now the importance of evidence and logical thought when making these kind of claims?

Question Woman 22 October 21 11:38

@You Know Who @10.43 - the evidence was presented to the court and he was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by a jury.

This differs from office gossip, making up accusations to try and take someone's job, or accusations made out of jealousy, which we see a lot of.

False accusations are very serious and unfortunately very common. All they do is undermine proper cases like this one.

Hackaforte 22 October 21 11:58

Well, that’s progress. It’s taken until 1043 for the first troglodyte to appear.
 

I look forward to the first bUt WhAt AbOuT mEn An BoYs diatribe in due course. 
 

 

Anonymous 22 October 21 12:04

@11.19 - there is evidence that things were said in court. There is no evidence that the entire process may have taken place using only mime and semaphore, or even interpretive dance. And even if it was, how that would prevent any judgement or inference at all about what was said or done during it.

The article doesn't say the food was eaten, merely that it was ordered, and nothing turns on whether it was eaten or not.

Yes, evidence and logical support are important and often ignored. In this case the evidence was presented to the jury who found him guilty. This wasn't a trivial case made without any evidence which falls apart under scrutiny.

Anonymous 22 October 21 12:12

We don't know if its progress Hackaforte, but people are rightly quick to question unsubstantiated and gossipy allegations, I'm sure you are too.

In the case here, evidence has been provided. This differs from other cases where evidence isn't provided and is rightly requested.

I suspect you'll be waiting a while for your diatribe - most men and boys aren't questioning the verdict, in the same way that most women and girls aren't.

Anonymous Anonymous 22 October 21 12:12

Tom Hagyard knows the law. He broke the law. He could appeal the result. Now he must serve his sentence.

Paul 22 October 21 12:14

It is pretty brutal sentencing.  If I were him I'd consider an appeal.  Look at the sentencing guidelines.  I'm not saying I have any sympathy for him, but sentencing guidelines exist to create consistency.

Anon 22 October 21 12:33

@ Anon 10.42 - “it’s not technically true to say he raped the first woman” 

What does this mean?   He was found to have intentionally penetrated her without consent.  Do you understand what rape is?  I suggest you look at the Sexual Offences Act 2003.   Or are you saying that in your world it isn’t rape to penetrate someone without their consent?  
 

As for Paul’s comments - you haven’t even begun to put forward an argument as to why the sentence was harsh.  A clear aggravating factor was that it was a repeated offence within a short time as opposed to a one off moment of madness, which suggests possible pre meditation in the case of the second at least,  and that he took advantage of victims whilst they were unable to resist effectively knowing or having ought reasonably to know that they were drink / asleep.  He was also held to have fabricated a defence to try to get off, which added more distress.  Had he admitted his guilt he would have received perhaps five or six years of which he would have served half.   Eight years for two offences like this given the aggravating factors and impact on victims is entirely reasonable and you have no basis on which to suggest otherwise, and his own legal team don’t appear to have suggested this either.  

Anon 22 October 21 12:40

Just in addition to the poster’s comments above, other relevant aggravating factors also include the timing of an incident (ie later at night) and whether the accused had consumed alcohol.  Whether they ejaculated is also an aggravating factor.  
 

Clearly a number or all of these are likely to have been relevant as well as those set out in the post above.  

Anon 22 October 21 12:43

@ you know who - is there evidence for this? No, the court and jury and legal teams just spent weeks sitting around drinking tea and chatting.  

Do you understand what a trial is? 

Anonymous 22 October 21 13:04

"He was found to have intentionally penetrated her without consent.  Do you understand what rape is?  I suggest you look at the Sexual Offences Act 2003."

Do you?

I mean, the definition of 'Rape' is right there in Section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003...

... shortly followed by Section 2, which explains to you what 'Assault by Penetration' is, and what the critical difference between the two things is.

You're apparently aware of that statute, so please do go and actually read it at some point. 

 

To be clear: what this person did was awful, and I'm glad he's being punished harshly for it, but it wasn't rape. And it isn't intelligent or helpful to describe it as something that it wasn't.

What you're doing is the same as describing every theft as a robbery, or every assault as a murder. It's know-nothing inaccuracy for the sake of sensationalism, and it has the net effect of emotionalising and watering down the language until it loses all stigma and people stop taking overused terms seriously.

Tren hard, Anavar give up 22 October 21 13:22

Hagyard claimed the sexual activity was consensual and that both women were "enjoying it."

Major ooof.

Anonymous 22 October 21 14:32

Eurgh. The awful thing is that so many women have a story or stories like this. Well done to these women for having the guts to take it to court. Their example, and the sentencing in this case, will hopefully encourage many others to do the same.

Anonymous 22 October 21 14:38

@12.43 - what evidence do you have that the legal teams had access to hot beverages such as 'tea' during the trial? 

Are there any records of them 'chatting' to each other as you allege they did?

 

Anonymous 22 October 21 15:35

@14.38 - 12.49 is saying that the legal teams didn't sit around drinking tea and chatting to one another, why would they have evidence that they did. Do you know what a trial is?

This case is real and proven with evidence and is different from the more common unevidenced or false accusations which you may be more familiar with, made out of jealousy or to get attention or money.

Anonymous 22 October 21 15:52

I did not write the brutal sentencing part but I notice that in today's political/legal climate, only the UK and US seem to retain significant sentencing. In the Nordic countries it is, sadly, not unusual to see people convicted for gang rape end up with community sentence. I can provide sources where the victim was 14 years old but you might not like to read about it. 

8 years is a heavy sentence for a heavy crime, and seems more appropriate than what I see elsewhere.

SecularJurist 22 October 21 17:48

You Know Who: are you the convicted person himself? 

If you are a Roffer using a different handle before conviction/sentence, how did you access the internet having just being banged up? I though such priviliges were not available until you've done a bit more time?

As for evidence, one presumes FNA swabs were taken? Counsel for the Crown and Defence examined and cross-examined the witnesses and the accused (you?) from statements, forensic reports and the transcript of the IUC (in D's case). 

If you are not happy withe the verdict (assuming YKW is the convicted person in question, or his best mate) you can appeal against conviction. If not, live with being at the bottom (above paedos, though) of the prison pecking order.

Anonymous 22 October 21 19:18

@14.50 legal cases like this are uncommon. Drunk idiots thinking they can sexually assault women at house parties are sadly very common. It has happened to me in my own home, at my own party, while my boyfriend was downstairs. It sickens me to think of it and so I applaud these women for not letting it go.

Anonymous 22 October 21 19:54

Cases of people doing what this guy did are fortunately uncommon, 19.18.

There are a drunk idiots, male and female, at house parties, who sometimes misbehave, but cases amounting to sexual assault are unusual. That doesn't mean they don't happen, or that they aren't an ordeal for victims, and anyone who is sexually assaulted to contact the police.

I applaud the women in this case for coming forward, and the men who supported them.

Anonymous 22 October 21 20:47

@SecularJurist - unlikely You Know Who is the guilty party commenting on rof from his jail cell (he has already been convicted and sentenced).

More likely they realise the importance of evidence in the unsubstantiated and malicious accusations which you'll have come across and are misguidedly requesting evidence here, where there is a proper case with evidence provided.

evidence man is just not funny 22 October 21 22:04

‘you know who’ or question man’ at 10:43 appears on all stories in which there is an allegation or conviction for sexual misdemeanour. i’d laugh if it was funny, but it’s really not - it’s just tedious. please just stop.

Anonymous 23 October 21 08:13

@evidence man is just not funny - evidence is rightly requested, and questions rightly asked, in relation to gossipy accusations made out of jealousy, for attention and/or money, to get a man sacked and replaced with a woman, or general misandry. You're familiar with these types of accusations, and know that the majority are false or exaggerated.

'You know who' has realised that evidence is important but they're still learning and so have asked for evidence in a proper case where it has already been provided. They'll learn for this, and next time will rightly question unsubstantiated spurious allegations.

'Question woman' appears on all threads where there is an allegation or conviction for sexual misdemeanour. She wants to stop people questiining allegations, even where they're obviously false or malicious, so that ultimately people can make false allegations with impunity. All she's doing is making sure that most people don't believe allegations and she's doing women a great disservice. I'd laugh if it was funny, but it’s really not - it’s just tedious. please just stop.

Anon 23 October 21 08:24

evidence man is just not funny 22 October 21 22:04: agreed. He engages in bad faith, tit for tat exchanges and wants to have the last word. He is most likely mentally ill.

Anon 23 October 21 08:30

Let’s just make this very clear, ‘false allegations’ are serious, but they are absolutely not common. You are more likely to be r*ped yourself than to be falsely accused of it. Also remember that only a fraction of actual sexual assaults are ever reported and only a fraction of those ever make it to a charge, and another fraction make it to conviction. If anyone reading this is so worried about ‘false allegations’, I would suggest the antidote to this is to be a decent human being, don’t be creepy, don’t touch people without consent, and don’t take advantage of anyone. This will reduce the chances of you being accused of sexual assault. 

Anonymous 23 October 21 08:30

22nd @ 15.52 - can you provide details of cases where people convicted of gang-rape in Nordic countries were sentenced to community service?

Anonymous 23 October 21 09:43

@8.30 - for the avoidance of doubt, false accusations are extremely common, indeed at least 50% of accusations of 'sexual harassment' are false.

When you say that that 'only a fraction of actual sexual assaults are ever reported and only a fraction of those ever make it to a charge, and another fraction make it to conviction' what you mean is that only a fraction of allegations of actual sexual assaults are ever reported and only a fraction of those ever make it to a charge, and another fraction make it to conviction. 

By definition, false accusations are false. If the accussee is falsely accused they are not being creepy, touching people sexually without consent, or taking advantage of anyone. Fslse accusations are the fault of the accuser. The way to stop being falsely accused is for false accusers to stop and for false accusations to be called out.

Anon 23 October 21 16:25

Anon 23 October 21 08:30: yes, according to Home Office statistics released in 2021, only 2% of allegations of sexual crimes are false.

Anon 23 October 21 16:39

Anon 23 October 21 08:24: the most creepy aspect is that he uses the same language as the person to whom he is responding. I showed some exchanges to a psychiatrist friend and he said he probably has narcissistic personality disorder.

Anonymous 23 October 21 17:39

@16:39 - what evidence do you have that you have a psychiatrist friend?

How can you be sure that the evidence man is using the same language as the people that he is responding to? Is it not equally likely that his interlocutors are foreshadowing him and adopting his words in advance?

Anonymous 23 October 21 18:01

@08:30

>22nd @ 15.52 - can you provide details of cases where people convicted of gang-rape in Nordic countries were sentenced to community service?

Certainly. Here are two examples, one girl was 14, in the other case 15. You will have to use your favourite translator tool for this, Google Translate is fine. 

https://www.tv2.no/a/9523958/

https://www.nrk.no/norge/seks-tenaringer-domt-for-grove-voldtekter-mot-15-aring-1.15516828

I can provide more examples but I think this is plenty.

Anonymous 24 October 21 05:02

SRA,

If you don't disqualify old ones in the profession who got away with touching young paralegals, young men joining the profession will be confident they can get away with it too. 

Anonymous 24 October 21 08:28

23rd October, 18.01 - thanks for this. Would it be possible to provide the translated text for these?

Anonymous 24 October 21 11:53

@5.02 - what old men got away with touching young paralegals?

Are you saying its ok for young men to touch young paralegals, old men to touch old paralegals and young men to touch old paralegals?

Anonymous 24 October 21 15:14

@13.38 - what evidence do you have that there are multiple losers in this comments section?

Could this not a single organism engaging in self-dialogue as it gradually attained consciousness?

SameOldSame 25 October 21 11:24

Good. I hope he rots. 
 

It is not uncommon at all. I was drugged and raped by a “friend” at 26, he had just finished the LPC and I was about to start. He is now a corporate partner at a national firm. I never reported it, but still live with the effects of it today. I doubt it even troubles his conscience. 

Anonymous 28 October 21 07:26

I would strongly suggest supporting allegations of that type to the police, SameOldSame. They will be able to help or refer you to people who can. Instances like this are rare, and it is important that women don't live in fear of something which is unlikely to happen, while those it does happen to receive support.

Anonymous 28 October 21 22:24

This is a case where evidence has been provided and someone found guilty after a proper process which considers that evidence. This is a true accusation.

For more dubious sounding cases, evidence is requested where it hasn't been provided. They are false accusations.

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