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Felix Beck was allowed to continue studying at Edinburgh while on bail for sexual assualt charges


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Content warning: Article contains description of a sexual assault

Edinburgh University student Felix Beck was allowed to continue studying after being charged with sexual assaults on two women.

Callous sex attacker Felix Beck was sentenced to three years in prison and put on the sex offenders register for life last week after being found guilty of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault of an 18 year old female student. He was also tried in a seperate trial for the rape of another student but was aquitted of this charge last month.

Photo:  Theoden sA CC BY-SA 3.0

Both complainants alleged he attacked them in the first term of the 2016/17 academic year.

Edinburgh say they initally received allegations naming Beck in an incident involving the first complainant on 21 October 2016.

This was two days after Beck attacked the second complainant, choking her and penetrating her vagina with his fingers, before biting her thighs and private parts.

The University did not become aware of this attack on the second complainant until 16 November 2016.

The University of Edinburgh told us they suspended Beck from campus on 17 November 2016 for the remaining 2016/17 academic year, the day after they received allegations from the second woman.

However, the University allowed him to continue studying remotely, a decision they say was made on the basis of Universities UK Guidance For Higher Education Institutions on handling sexual misconduct complaints.

Beck was readmitted to campus for the 2017/18 academic year but banned from University accommodation. The attack for which he was convicted took place in a halls of residence bedroom.

For 2018/19 he was suspended from campus again but allowed to study remotely - his two criminal trials were both held in 2018.  

He was aquitted of raping the first complainant but in a seperate trial in November 2018 was found guilty by a jury of sexual assault by penetration and sexual assault of an 18 year old female student.

On 17 January 2019 Beck was handed a three year custodial sentence and placed on the sex offenders register for life.

Now Beck has been found guilty and his sentencing has taken place, Edinburgh University have confirmed his case will be passed on to the Student Discipline Committee for further action.

A University spokesperson told The National Student:

“This has been an upsetting case for our entire University community. It is completely unacceptable that any student should suffer such a traumatic experience.

“The safety of our students is of the utmost priority, so when such distressing incidents occur we take them extremely seriously.

“In this instance, we acted swiftly and carefully to manage the risk to the University community as soon as we were informed. In addition, support and counselling was offered to all the students affected.

“Following the official guidance from our umbrella body, Universities UK, we liaised with the police and gathered further information before taking any precautionary action. We do, however, have to operate under the premise that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, as per the guidelines.

“In this case, a second allegation about the student in question was received while this was in process, at which point he was suspended with immediate effect.

“We are always working to ensure the University is a safe place to study and work but we remain acutely aware of the wider issue of sexual violence on campuses and we know there is always more we can do.

“In conjunction with our Students’ Association, we are putting significant resource towards tackling the problem with campaigns and training programmes as well as revised policies and procedures. We also offer support through our counselling service and alongside agencies such as Rape Crisis Scotland.”

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