22 March 2008
A judge who jailed a man for two years over the rape of a 10-year-old girl has had another child sex case referred to the Court of Appeal. The latest controversy involves a three-year supervision order imposed on a 17-year-old boy who abused two young children. Judge Julian Hall, sitting at Oxford Crown Court, had opted not to jail the teenager because he did not believe him to be sufficiently dangerous. But Vera Baird, Solicitor General for England and Wales, said the sentence will be reviewed after a request by an interested party.
This is the second such ruling of Judge Hall’s to go before the higher court in the past year. Last year, the Court of Appeal doubled a two-year jail term he imposed on Keith Fenn, 24, for the rape of a 10-year-old, deeming it to be unduly lenient. At the time of sentencing, with months he served on remand deducted, window cleaner Fenn stood to be freed within just eight weeks of being jailed.
Passing sentence, Judge Hall said the girl, who had sex with Fenn soon after meeting him in a Oxfordshire park, had been dressed provocatively and had appeared as old as 16. By law, a child of 10 cannot consent to sex.
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