Judge allows identification of teenage rapists

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(First Edition)

A JUDGE yesterday ruled that the identity of two youths who took part in the gang rape of a 13-year-old girl should be made public.

Judge Nina Lowry lifted an order she had made earlier in the trial at the Old Bailey banning the identification of Dean Thomas, 15, and Jamel Stewart, 16.

She said: 'I do not think it right or in the public interest that the identity of two of the perpetrators of this crime should be cloaked in anonymity. In my view, the matter should be out in the open in the community where they live.'

Thomas, Stewart and Chaza Daniels, 19, the gang leader, all from the Stockwell Park Estate in Brixton, south London, were found guilty of raping and falsely imprisoning the girl.

Daniels was sentenced to a total of nine years for three charges of rape and three of false imprisonment. Thomas, described as an 'enthusiastic right-hand man', was given five years and nine months for one charge of rape and three of false imprisonment. Stewart received four years and nine months for one charge of rape and one of false imprisonment. They will serve their sentences in young offenders' institutions.

Last week, another Old Bailey judge, Bruce Laughland, allowed the names of two rapists aged 16 and 17 to be published, saying: 'If you are old enough to commit rape, you are old enough to pay the penalty.'

Sentencing the three youths yesterday, after their trial last month, Judge Lowry told them they knew their victim was vulnerable and unlikely to report what had happened.

On three separate occasions the girl was imprisoned in Daniels' bedroom, raped and ill-treated. The first time Thomas attacked her face with a cigarette lighter, leaving burns visible weeks later.

Stewart joined in on the last occasion. The girl was so badly treated that she plucked up the courage to tell of her ordeal. The judge said she had given evidence with 'great courage' for four days during the trial.

The court was told that since the girl reported her ordeal to police she had been unable to live at home with her family because of abuse from sections of the community.