Leeds rapist has jail term reduced on appeal

A Leeds youth who followed a terrified teenage girl before raping her has had his sentence cut by almost a third on appeal.

The 17-year-old, from the Yeadon area of Leeds, was sent to a young offenders' institution for five years by a judge in Leeds after he admitted the attack in August last year.

But lawyers for the youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said the judge was wrong to pass a "deterrent sentence", and brought his case back before London's Court of Appeal.

Two senior judges ruled that the sentence was "manifestly excessive" and cut it to three and a half years.

Mrs Justice Rafferty told the court an 18-year-old girl, named in court only as "K", was walking home from a night out in Leeds in May last year, when the youth approached her in a car park.

He held her by the neck so she could not shout and raped her.

The petrified girl eventually managed to get home where she told her parents. The police were called and the youth was caught after DNA tests.

The sentencing judge said the girl would "bear the mental scars for many years".

But at the appeal, lawyers said deterrent sentences should not be passed on under 18s.

Mrs Justice Rafferty agreed, reducing the term to three-and-a-half years.

Jeff Fairburn of Persimmon

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