Tuesday 28 March 2017

Rape sentences must reflect the gravity

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.

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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