10:28am Wednesday 23rd May 2012
© Press Association 2013
Two men locked up for raping an 11-year-old girl have had their sentences more than doubled by the Court of Appeal.
Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro, both 21, were originally given three years and four months in February after admitted raping the schoolgirl in a block of flats in Luton, Bedfordshire, last July.
Three judges in London agreed with Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC that the original terms of detention imposed at Luton Crown Court were "unduly lenient" - and raised them to seven years. Channer, of no fixed address, and Monteiro, of Luton, will also be on the sex offenders register for life.
The Attorney General said in a statement after the ruling: "This was a horrible case where two men, aged 20, raped an 11-year-old girl, whilst two other youths watched.
"A video recording of part of the incident was taken on a mobile phone, further adding to the anguish of the victim. I'm very pleased that the Court of Appeal has today given clear guidance in respect of sentencing sexual offences of this nature.
"The law is clear that children under the age of 13 are incapable of giving consent to sexual activity, and I hope that today's sentence sends out a strong message to anyone who commits terrible crimes such as these - that you can expect to spend a substantial time in prison."
Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "We supported the Attorney General's decision to refer this case as one that had attracted sentences that were unduly lenient.
"I welcome today's ruling from the Court of Appeal to increase the sentences. Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro took advantage of a very young girl and, although they pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, needed to be punished for their crime.
"The original sentences of 40 months imprisonment in no way reflected the severity or seriousness of their crime. Today's increased sentences do. The CPS takes all allegations of rape seriously and has specialist rape prosecutors who have expertise in dealing with sexual offences cases.
"We work with the police and the courts to ensure that victims are given the best possible support."
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