The Sensible Sentencing Trust child abuse spokesperson Scott Guthrie has labelled the sentencing of a teen rapist to two years imprisonment for raping a six-year-old child, as irresponsible, offender friendly and lacking any chance of rehabilitation in such a short time frame.
"What sort of message does this send to the community? It would appear that the courts are now seemingly accepting that drug abuse is some sort of defence for violent or sexual offending" Guthrie said.
"The public aren’t interested if an offender is high on drugs but they are interested in common sense punitive rehabilitation which clearly this isn’t".
"Here we have a case where a six-year-old child was raped by her baby sitter, the very person she should have been able to trust. This offender knew he was taking illegal drugs and he knew that raping a six-year-old vulnerable and defenceless child was wrong. This wasn’t some random drug fuelled one-off crime, it was cold, callous and calculated" Guthrie said.
"And what did Judge Jane McMeeken give this drugged up rapist? Two years in prison which means the offender only has to serve twelve months of the two year sentence because he is automatically entitled to be released after serving half of the sentence imposed. In this case of drug abuse and sexual violation, 12 months is nowhere near enough to even start rehabilitation of the offender" said Guthrie
"I find it hard to believe that Judge McMeeken and our politicians don’t realise just how wrong and weak this sentence is, and if they don’t, they should," Guthrie said.