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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Baby rapist's sentence increased
Alan Webster and Tanya French
Alan Webster and Tanya French pleaded guilty
A man who raped a 12-week-old baby has had his minimum jail term changed from six to eight years by appeal judges.

The five-year term originally imposed on Alan Webster's accomplice, Tanya French, will remain, the court said.

Webster, 40, was sentenced to life in January but was eligible to apply for parole after six years. French, 19, was jailed for five years.

Attorney General Lord Goldsmith QC said it was possible Webster, from Hertfordshire, would never be released.

Speaking on the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio Two, Lord Goldsmith said: "He has got a life sentence, he may never come out of prison.

"The most senior judge in the land actually said in the course of his judgement that such was his depravity that it's questionable that he will ever be released and he may die in prison."

Photographs of abuse

A panel of five senior judges at the Court of Appeal, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, ruled that Webster's six-year minimum term was too short.

But the panel ruled that having regard to French's youth and the fact she had been corrupted by Webster, her sentence fell within the range that was properly open to the sentencing judge "and should not be disturbed".

The two years added to Webster's minimum term is simply not enough
Baby's family
Webster and French, from Hatfield, raped and indecently assaulted the baby and took photographs of the abuse, their trial heard.

The baby's mother was unaware of the abuse until detectives visited her after finding photographs detailing the abuse at Webster's home.

The family said in a statement on Thursday that they were disappointed with the ruling.

"The two years added to Webster's minimum term is simply not enough. This man should never even be considered for release.

'Ludicrous' ruling

"We should have never had to fight for this review and it has only added to the trauma suffered by us all."

They added: "French was as guilty as Webster and it is frightening to think that this woman could be released in just 19 months' time and even if she serves the full term of her sentence, she'll be released in just over four years' time."

But the family added that they wanted to thank those who had helped bring the case to review, especially Lord Goldsmith.

Webster had been convicted of a "serious indecent assault" on a 14-year-old girl three years before he was sentenced for the baby rape offences.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Lord Goldsmith QC explains the meaning of the sentence



SEE ALSO:
Law chief reviews baby rape terms
27 Mar 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Babysitters jailed for baby rape
10 Jan 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts


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