One in 12 child rapists let off with community punishments as ministers pressure judges

Paedophile, Eric Cole

Paedophiles who rape young children are being let off with community punishments, it emerged last night.

Sentencing guidelines say adult child rapists should receive ‘a substantial term of imprisonment’.

But figures unearthed by the Tories show that one in twelve adults convicted of rape, or the attempted rape, of a child under 13 receives a suspended or community sentence.

The statistics are made even more shocking by the fact they relate to convicts who were aged 21 or over, and at least eight years older than their victim.

Normally, cases of sex offenders escaping with a soft punishment involve offenders who are themselves children, or 16 , 17, 18 or 19-year-olds having sex with underage boys or girls.

Shadow Justice Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said: ‘It is hard to think of any circumstances where an adult who rapes a young child should avoid jail.

‘Labour have pressurised judges to use community sentences inappropriately because the prisons are full, but the result is that dangerous offenders cheat justice and children are put at risk.’

The maximum sentence for rape or attempted rape of a child under 13 is life imprisonment.

Guidance by the Sentencing Guidelines Council states ‘there will be very few cases in which immediate custody is not called for, even in relation to a young offender’.

It adds: ‘In exceptional cases, a non-custodial sentence may be appropriate for a young offender. If the offender is much older than the victim, a substantial term of imprisonment will usually be called for.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”

………Sarah Tofte

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