A TEENAGE rapist had his ‘richly merited’ sentence sliced on appeal because of claims an ‘appearance of injustice’ was created by a judge’s comments.
Ashley Anthony Hinchliffe, 19, of March Flatts Road, Rotherham, was given six years’ youth custody at Sheffield Crown Court last year.
But London’s Court of Appeal cut his term to five years due to an apparent offer made by the judge during the victim’s harrowing evidence.
Hinchliffe attacked an older woman after a party in 2010, pinning her to the ground and ignoring her screams. The victim, who bit Hinchliffe’s tongue and headbutted him, was later encouraged to go to the police by a family member, the court heard.
Hinchliffe claimed the sex was consensual and the woman’s injuries were caused by ‘play fighting’, but he was convicted at a retrial.
The trial judge indicated during the victim’s evidence that Hinchliffe would get a three-year sentence if he admitted the offence.
“It seems to us the appearance of an injustice may have been given to the appellant, by virtue of the way the sentence was apparently increased from what the judge had in mind at one point to what was double that,” the appeal court judges ruled.