Child rapists' sentences reviewed

 

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The Independent Online

The Attorney General's Office is reviewing the sentences of two child rapists who were jailed for just 40 months for attacking an 11-year-old girl.

Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro, both 21, were each jailed for less than three-and-a-half years after they admitted raping the schoolgirl in a block of flats in Luton, Bedfordshire, last July.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office said either the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC or the Solicitor General Edward Garnier QC would review the case and make a decision whether to appeal by March 9.

Sentencing the pair, who claimed the young girl looked at least 14, Judge David Farrell QC reportedly told Luton Crown Court there were exceptional factors in the "abhorrent" case that led him to reduce the sentence.

"Despite her age it is accepted she was a willing participant, but the law is there to protect young girls from this type of behaviour and to protect them from themselves," he said.

The Attorney General's Office said it was reviewing the sentences following a number of requests.

Leading children's charity the NSPCC was among those who urged the Attorney General to intervene, saying the sentences were "incredibly light" and "apparently failed to take fully into account the fact that under law no child can consent to sex".

Andrew Flanagan, the charity's chief executive, said: "We have called on the Attorney General to urgently review this case as the offenders appear to have been given incredibly light sentences considering they were found guilty of raping an 11-year-old girl.

"The judge even described the case as 'abhorrent' but we are concerned that the judge has apparently failed to take fully into account the fact that under law no child can consent to sex.

"And it's certainly not credible to accept a defence that the rapists thought the girl was 14 when she was eleven."

He went on: "This was a vile attack on a girl barely out of primary school which was even recorded on video so the pictures could be circulated.

"We have no doubt the sentences should be much heavier than the 40 months which have been imposed."

Channer, of no fixed address, and Monteiro, of Luton, both admitted rape and will be on the sex offenders register for life.

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