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1995: First man jailed for male rape
A man with a history of sex offences has been jailed for life for the attempted rape of another man, in the first case of its kind.

In sentencing 26-year-old Andrew Richards, Judge Richard Lowry said he was using new powers provided by last year's Criminal Justice Act.

Richards, from West Glamorgan, was convicted last month on charges of attempting to rape a young man, indecent assault and actual bodily harm.

The court was told that unemployed Richards had met his 18-year-old victim at a central London hostel where they were both staying.

The attack happened in Regent's Park last December after the two men had been drinking. Sheltering from the rain by a tea bar, Richards committed two indecent assaults and attempted to rape the youth.

The court heard Richards had a long history of sex crimes. At the time of this latest attack he had been out of prison for only four months, after being jailed for three years at Swansea Crown Court for indecently assaulting a seven-year-old girl.

In 1988 he was convicted of the rape, wounding and false imprisonment of a 15-year-old girl.

The judge said Richards was a danger to young people and children, and recommended he serve a minimum of ten years of the life sentence.

The court's first concern was to protect the public, he said, before praising the courage of the victim for reporting the attack.

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Artist impression of Andrew Richards
The judge recommended Richards (right) spend at least 10 years in jail

In Context
The Richards case was the first conviction under new male rape laws.

Victim support groups hailed the case as a significant step in bringing the taboo subject of male rape out into the open.

Ernest Woollett of Survivors group said: "The signal it sends out to men is that this is now being taken seriously and that the powers-that-be are prepared to take it seriously and that they need not necessarily be identified."

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