The sentence of a rapist who attacked a woman who had been out celebrating the New Year has been referred to the Court of Appeal.

In the early hours of New Year’s Day, the victim awoke to find Matthew Grant Wilkinson, who goes by the name of Grant, raping her.

The offence happened in Leyland after the woman was out in Preston.

Wilkinson, 29, of Grasmere Grove, Whittle-le-Woods, was arrested later the same morning and subsequently charged with rape.

Wilkinson pleaded guilty at a pre-trial hearing to rape of a female aged over 16 and sexual assault by penetration.

On May 5, Wilkinson was jailed for 58 months, given a restraining order, and ordered to sign the sex offenders register.

DC Draycott said: “Wilkinson committed this offence at a time when he knew the victim was extremely vulnerable and unable to say no.

“This offence has had a profound and ongoing impact on the victim. She is receiving support from an independent sexual violence advocate.

“I would like to praise the victim for the tremendous bravery she has shown.

“I would encourage anybody who has been the victim of a sexual offence to contact the police who will provide specialist support.”

Wilkinson’s four year and 10-month sentence was referred to the Attorney General’s Office under the Unduly Lenient Sentence Scheme (ULSS).

After considering the case, it has been referred to the Court of Appeal, the highest court in the land.

There, judges will either extend the sentence, leave it the same, or could throw the case out without even hearing it.

Anyone can make a referral to the Attorney General under the ULSS, and numerous people asked for this case to be reviewed.