AN appeal lodged by convicted rapist David Bryant has been refused, the Daily Echo can confirm

The former retained firefighter had appealed his conviction of raping a 14-year-old schoolboy at Christchurch in 1977.

However, this application - received by the Court of Appeal in March - was dismissed by a single judge last month, it has emerged.

Bryant was sentenced to six years in prison in 2013 after he was found guilty of raping teenager Danny Day almost 40 years previously.

The Court of Appeal later increased his sentence to eight-and-a-half years.

Mr Day, who has waived his right to anonymity, told the Echo: "He applied for an appeal on an unsafe conviction, he had to apply to one judge and then would have gone to a panel of three other judges.

"But it didn't even get past the first hurdle. The first judge looked at it and dismissed it.

"I don't know how he got that far to be honest, he's in the place he should be in.

"He keeps on trying but he's been in court with me three times, and three times he's lost."

During the trial, held at Bournemouth Crown Court, the jury was told Bryant, who was then aged 26, and a fellow retained firefighter, Dennis Goodman, who is now deceased, had befriended the victim and invited him to play darts with them at the station on three occasions during the 1970s.

The court was told on the third occasion, the victim, who was then aged around 14, was held down over a table by the pair, one of whom said "you'll like this".

The prosecution said they then took it in turns to rape him while having sex with each other.

Bryant's wife Lynn says her husband has always maintained his innocence.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office confirmed: "An application by David Bryant to appeal his conviction for rape was received in March and refused by a single judge in July.

"He renewed his application and this is currently awaiting allocation for it to be heard by a panel of three judges."

No date for this hearing has been set.