Appeal court judges jail Burnley rapist who was given 'unduly lenient' sentence (From Lancashire Telegraph)
When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Appeal court judges jail Burnley rapist who was given 'unduly lenient' sentence
A RAPIST from Burnley who was given a suspended prison sentence for a brutal knifepoint sex attack has been jailed by law lords.
Top judges ruled that 37-year-old Paul Simpson, of Coal Clough Lane, deserved immediate imprisonment after a ‘unduly lenient’ non-custodial term was imposed at Burnley Crown Court last June.
Lawyers acting on behalf of Attorney General Dominic Grieve had asked the Court of Appeal to reconsider the case.
Simpson’s victim had later begged for mercy on his behalf - claiming he needed ‘help not punishment’.
But appeal court judges concluded that the sentencing judge had taken too great an account of the victim’s plea.
Lord Justice Treacy, sitting with Mr Justice Hickinbottom and Mr Justice Nicol, noted Simpson's own ‘disgust’ at his crime and that he ‘accepted that custody was fully justified for his behaviour’.
The joiner had committed the attack at a time when he was depressed, and had recently lost his job, the court heard.
But Lord Justice Treacy said the suspended sentence was clearly too light, substituting a five-year term.
Simpson, who served six months on remand earlier this year, must now surrender to custody and start serving his new sentence.
Lord Justice Treacy said the sentencing judge had ‘clearly attached considerable weight’ to what the victim had said but her approach was ‘significantly flawed’.
The judge added: “The views of the victim may provide some evidence of the harm done by the offence, but no more than that.
“In this case there was positive evidence of significant harm and detriment caused to the victim as a direct result of the offending.”
The court heard that the victim, after being forced to strip by Simpson at knifepoint and then sexually assaulted, had feared she was going to die. She would later say that the experience had left her ‘profoundly traumatised’.
Comments are closed on this article.