Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

SEX OFFENDERS JAILED FOR LESS THAN A YEAR; Experts 'Concerned' by Lighter Sentences for Serious Sex Crimes, Including Rape

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

SEX OFFENDERS JAILED FOR LESS THAN A YEAR; Experts 'Concerned' by Lighter Sentences for Serious Sex Crimes, Including Rape

Article excerpt

Byline: ALICE CACHIA

Aperson found guilty of raping a girl under the age of 13 is serving a prison sentence of less than a year, new figures have revealed.

Further details of the crime were not provided - we do not know the age of her rapist, or how recently the rape occurred, meaning it could be a historic case.

However, the rapist was just one of 77 sexual offenders who were serving fewer than 12 months for their crime as of March this year, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Among them were eight people who had been convicted of sexual activity involving a child aged under 16, while two were convicted of sexual activity involving a child under 13.

A spokesperson for Rape Crisis UK said: "It's certainly of concern that a significant volume of short sentences appear to have been handed down for serious sexual offences, against both adults and children.

"Rape, sexual abuse and all forms of sexual violence have a range of longterm, often lifelong, impacts on those who experience them and sentences like these don't Rape Crisis said welcome a "overhaul" of justice appear to acknowledge that.

"This is just one in many ways that the current criminal justice system fails victims and survivors of sexual offences and Rape Crisis would welcome its complete overhaul."

In total, the MOJ figures reveal that 5,343 men and women were serving sentences of less than 12 months as of March this year.

While it is unsurprising that certain crimes, like shoplifting, see offenders given shorter prison sentences, those convicted of more serious crimes are being given lighter sentences, too. …

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