Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Rape trio sentence to be reviewed

Rogel McMorris, Jason Brew and Hector Muaimba were convicted of rape

The Attorney General is reviewing the sentencing of three rapists who threw caustic soda over their victim, after criticism that it was too lenient.

The 16-year-old girl, who has a mental age of eight, was repeatedly raped in north London last January. The men were jailed for up to nine years on Monday.

The Attorney General can refer the sentencing to the Court of Appeal if she feels it was "unduly lenient".

Disability charities said the sentences sent out "the wrong message".

The girl, who has learning difficulties, was in a coma following the attack at a flat in Seven Sisters, north London, in January 2008.

Most people don't realise that people with learning difficulties are more likely to be victims of rape
Deborah Kitson, The Ann Craft Trust

She has been left with burns to more than 50% of her body.

One of the men, Rogel McMorris, 18, from Seven Sisters, was jailed for nine years for two counts of rape and grievous bodily harm at Wood Green Crown Court on Monday.

Co-defendants Jason Brew, 19, from Tottenham, north London, and Hector Muaimba, 20, from Walthamstow, east London, were jailed for six years each for the rape. Muaimba was given a further two-year term for a separate robbery.

A spokesman for Attorney General Baroness Scotland's office said: "We have asked the Crown Prosecution Service for the papers in the case so the law officers can consider whether the sentence is one that should be referred to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient."

Earlier Deborah Kitson, director of The Ann Craft Trust, said victims with learning difficulties often faced hurdles in getting justice.

"Most people don't realise that people with learning disabilities are more likely to be victims of rape," she said.

"They can also face lots of hurdles in getting justice and fear not being believed if they come forward. Sentences such as this can damage people's confidence in the courts."

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