Young rapist to serve time in adult prison

News from the courts

News from the courts

A teenage rapist has been told he must serve part of his three-year sentence at the adult jail in Jurby once he turns 18.

The youth, who has been named on the Isle of Man Court of Justice’s website but we have chosen not to name as he was two days short of his 17th birthday when he was convicted, has lost his appeal against his sentence.

He was 16 and a half when he raped a 14-year-old girl on wasteland close to Robert Stevenson Close, Douglas, in June last year.

His victim was intoxicated on drink or drugs and had passed out when the rape occurred. Her attacked denied he had supplied her with alcohol and cannabis.

In December he pleaded guilty to rape and was sentenced to three years’ custody by Deemster Alastair Montgomerie.

But the teenager appealed on the basis that while he would remain at Cronk Sollysh secure care home until his 18th birthday, he would then be transferred to Isle of Man Prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Lawyers for the teenager called for the sentence to be cut to two years so that he could avoid being sent to Jurby jail.

Medical reports produced for the appeal highlighted concerns about the possible negative impact should the appellant be transferred to prison following his 18th birthday.

One noted his ‘narcissistic personality traits with a lack of empathy and immaturity in emotional development’.

The Youth Justice Team concluded he was a lower risk of engaging in further sexually harmful behaviour and placing him with more ‘hard-core’ offenders in an adult jail might do more harm than good.

There was also concern that he might be placed in the same wing of the prison as his father, who is currently on remand there.

But the appeal court judges rejected the appeal.

In a judgment Judge of Appeal Geoffrey Tattersall QC and Deemster David Doyle concluded: ‘We are well aware of, and in reaching our determination of this appeal have had regard to, the appellant’s relative immaturity and accept that he will find his transfer to prison difficult.

‘In such circumstances we have considered whether, as an act of mercy, we are able to reduce the sentence imposed on this appellant to one of two years’ custody which would prevent him having to be transferred to prison.

‘We are satisfied that it is inappropriate that we should do so given that this was a very serious offence.’

The court heard that the appellant had denied that two of his victim’s friends had warned him not to take advantage of her in her intoxicated state.

But while he was alone with her he had unprotected sex.

A female friend returned to find found her lying flat on her back on the ground with her arms and legs out to the sides. She was not moving as if she were asleep but the appellant was lying on top of her with his trousers pulled slightly down.

The friend told him to stop what he was doing but the appellant denied that she hit him on the back of the head or threatened to call the police or that he said that the girl was ‘asking for it’. However, after this intervention, he walked off and the friend dressed the girl and took her home.

When he was arrested, the teenager initially denied rape and claimed that his victim had instigated the incident.

Some months later he indicated his intention to plead guilty.

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