Tuesday 6 December 2016

Rape sentences must reflect the gravity

Published 14/07/2015 | 02:30

Rape is a serious crime; our sentencing regime must reflect that gravity
Rape is a serious crime; our sentencing regime must reflect that gravity

The crime of rape is one of the most serious in our criminal calendar, attracting up to a life sentence. Normally rape will attract a custodial sentence, typically five to seven years for those who are convicted of this heinous offence.

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The superior courts have consistently held that judges, when imposing sentence, must not be deprived of the possibility of identifying exceptional cases where a custodial sentence may not be warranted.

One wonders whether yesterday's fully suspended seven-year jail term handed down to a Norwegian man who admitted raping and sexually abusing his ex-partner while she slept is a substantial departure from sentencing norms.

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