Ealing rape judge admits 'blemish'

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The Independent Online
THE JUDGE at the centre of the Ealing vicarage rape controversy retired yesterday, acknowledging there had been 'a blemish' in his career.

Although Mr Justice Leonard did not refer by name to the case in which he was severely criticised for his comments and the leniency of his sentencing, observers at the Old Bailey were in no doubt Ealing was the blot on an otherwise distinguished career.

The judge sentenced Martin McCall to five years for rape and five years for aggravated burglary after a woman was raped and sexually abused at the vicarage in March 1986. Christopher Byrne was jailed for three years for rape and five years for burglary and assault. The gang leader, Robert Horscroft, who did not take part in the rape, was jailed for 14 years.

The judge was also criticised for saying the trauma suffered by Jill Saward, the rape victim, had not been so great.

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