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No review of sentence in Adam Hulin oral rape case
The Solicitor General has decided the Court of Appeal will not reconsider the community sentence handed to athlete Adam Hulin for the oral rape and sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl.
Hulin, 19, of Hookwood Cottages, in Hurst Lane, Headley, was given 100 hours of community service, a £60 victim surcharge and the requirement to attend six community reintegration sessions after pleading guilty to the offences, which took place in Bookham in December 2012.
The runner was also put on the Sex Offenders' Register for five years after he was sentenced by the judge Recorder George Lawson-Rogers QC at Guildford Crown Court last month.
The victim's family had hoped that Hulin would be handed a prison sentence if the Solicitor General decided that the sentence should be rexamined by the Court of Appeal.
The family, along with many others, felt it was unduly lenient and wrote to his office asking for the case to be reviewed.
But in a statement released this afternoon, Solicitor General Oliver Heald QC MP, said: "I would first of all like to offer my sympathy to the victim in this case.
"This was a difficult case and I personally reviewed the circumstances and carefully considered whether the judge was justified in imposing the sentence he did.
"Having looked at the findings made by the judge after he heard evidence from those involved and the reasons he gave, I felt unable to refer this case to the Court of Appeal as I did not believe they would find the sentence unduly lenient and increase it."
The office of the Solicitor General also provided background to the case.
It referred to the Definitive Guideline on Sexual Offences relevant to sentencing after April 1, 2014 - which sets out the appropriate range of sentences for the offences Hulin admitted.
In cases of rape of a child under 13, the Definitive Guideline states that the maximum sentence is life imprisonment, with the range being six to 19 years in prison.
The Guideline states that the majority of such offences will deserve a significant custodial sentence - but that there may be exceptional cases where a lengthy community order and requirement to participate in a sex offender treatment programme may be the best way of changing an offender's behaviour and protecting the public.
On these exceptional cases, the Guideline states: "This guideline may not be appropriate where the sentencer is satisfied that on the available evidence, and in the absence of exploitation, a young or particularly immature defendant genuinely believed, on reasonable grounds, that the victim was aged 16 or over and that they were engaging in lawful sexual activity."
Mr Heald's office said that Recorder Lawson-Rogers QC had concluded that this case fell into this exceptional category.
In a statement, the Solicitor General's office said: "The sentencing judge heard evidence and took the view that this scenario applied in this case.
"On that basis the judge said he was satisfied that it would be contrary to the interests of justice to follow the Guideline and considered that it was appropriate to impose a non-custodial sentence."
The victim's sister has said she is "disgusted" by today's outcome.
She said: "This is our justice system for the future of our children and grandchildren. I can honestly say I am gutted and just very angry right now.
"It's not right and just a bit hard to take in at the moment."
She said the letter received by the family from Mr Heald stated: "In this case the judge heard evidence from a number of witnesses in order to determine what happened.
"The offender and the victim had given very different accounts about the circumstances of the offence and the judge had to decide what he was able to take account of when determining the appropriate sentence.
"Ultimately the judge decided that he could not be sure the version of the prosecution was correct and so he had to accept the version given by the offender.
"The judge therefore sentenced the offender on the basis that he genuinely and reasonably believed that the victim was 16-years-old and that they were engaging in lawful sex."
The sister added: "The outrage that the offender has no restrictions towards the victim means he can approach her at any given time.
"Disgusting. This just sends out the wrong message to offenders and victims. It's totally wrong in every way."
What do you think about today's decision by the Solicitor General? Leave a comment below or contact Hardeep Matharu on the newsdesk by emailing email@example.com or calling 020 8722 6346.
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