Page last updated at 17:37 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Rapists 'should serve full term'

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

Three rapists who threw caustic soda over their victim should not be released halfway through their sentences, a Tory MP has said.

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.

Julian Lewis said early release would "make a nonsense" of their sentences.

The Attorney General is considering whether to refer the sentences to the Court of Appeal as "unduly lenient".

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

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

Rogel McMorris, 18, from Seven Sisters, was jailed for nine years for two counts of rape and grievous bodily harm.

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.

Most prisoners who receive fixed sentences are released under supervision at the halfway stage.

'Absolutely horrific'

Mr Lewis, MP for New Forest East, told the House of Commons he wanted a debate on sentencing policy following the "absolutely horrific" case of multiple rape "by up to 10 assailants".

He said: "Only four of these assailants would probably have been convicted - six had to be let go.

"One of those who would probably have been convicted was killed in a street brawl because he was out on bail, incredibly, after this multiple rape."

Mr Lewis added: "Surely we need a statement to know whether... such villains would then be considered for release halfway through their sentences, which would make a nonsense of imposing those sentences in the first place."

Commons Leader Harriet Harman said: "When there is a sentence that causes public outrage or sends out the wrong message about what the criminal justice system's attitude is towards a particular offence, there is provision for the Attorney General to consider the judgement and sentence in that case and decide whether to refer it to the Court of Appeal."

That process was taking place at the moment, she confirmed.



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