[…]

One rapist got 9 years, two got six years, at least another seven got away scott free. Most of the press has focussed on how that means they might be out in 2.5 years if they behave. As if reminder were needed this is the 16 year old learning disabled woman gang raped by up to ten men who filmed her rape on their phones and then threw caustic soda on her to try and “destroy the evidence”. Shame they forgot the “evidence” is a young woman who is now permanently disfigured.

But what also intrigues me is the comments in the Metro (forgive me, it came up in a news feed). Six of the seventeen comments use it as a vehicle to make party political comments (kick out Labour and bring back proper jail sentences type stuff). Almost all use the notion that this is all the woman will now amount to.

Hang on – step back – this is a young woman who, despite learning difficulties, has been able to help the Police catch three of her attackers and bring them to (what passes for) justice. That’s pretty damned impressive – lets not do that usual trick of passing the story off about whether one set of men (lawmakers and the judiciary) are insulting or not another set of men (the commenters). Let’s focus on what’s really important here – another woman raped and another case of “brothers” protecting their power. The defendants didn’t give up the other perpetrators, the legal system didn’t push for it, it’s considered case closed because some of them have been punished.

Returning to the sentencing issue it’s a tough call to make sense of how the tariffs are applied but there were specific grounds for this to be considered an aggrevated offence such as mental incapacity of the victim (deliberate targeting of a vulnerable victim), age of the victim, gratuitous violence, group offence, planned offence and repeated assaults.

Thankfully the Attorney General has already announced a review of their sentences. Just remember in all cases such as this the place to complain is the Attorney General.