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Rapist's jail term slashed.

A MIDDLESBROUGH man with cerebral palsy who was jailed for raping a disabled woman has had his sentence slashed on appeal by top judges.

Leslie Walker, 49, of Daleville Close, Beechwood, forced himself upon the woman in her home in late 2012.

He claimed the sex was consensual, but was found guilty of rape and assault by penetration and jailed for six years at Teesside Crown Court last October.

Today, his lawyers argued that the sentence was too tough and had it cut to five years by three top judges at the Court of Appeal in London.

Judge David Radford, who heard the appeal with Lord Justice McCombe and Mr Justice Coulson, said it was wrong to give him consecutive sentences for his crimes.

The court heard the "very vulnerable" council factory worker was expected to find prison a tough experience due to his disability.

Although he always claimed that the woman had consented to sex, he admitted realising that he was hurting her, the judges were told.

However, both offences had taken place at the same time, so it was wrong to impose consecutive terms of five years for rape and another year for the assault, his lawyers argued.

Giving judgment, Judge Radford concluded: "It was not appropriate for the judge to have passed a consecutive sentence on the assault by penetration offence."

But he added: "It cannot be properly said that a total concurrent sentence of five years would be manifestly excessive."

The judges ordered that the sentences run concurrently, making a total term of five years.
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 27, 2014
Words:259
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