Longer sentences for caustic soda gang rapists

LONDON (Reuters) - Two young men who took part in a gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl before scarring her for life by dousing their victim with caustic soda had their sentences increased substantially on Thursday.

Three Court of Appeal judges in London ruled that the terms being served by Rogel McMorris, 18, and Jason Brew, 19, in January were “unduly lenient.”

In what the judges described as a “horrifying” case, the victim, who had a mental age of just eight, was disfigured for life in the attack last year in Tottenham, north London.

They upped the jail term imposed on Jamaican-born McMorris of Tottenham, who was convicted of two rape counts and one of causing grievous bodily harm, from nine to 14 years.

Co-defendant Brew, of Haringey, north London, who was found guilty of one charge of rape, had his six-year sentence raised to nine years, the Press Association reported.

The judges decided not to increase the sentence imposed on Angolan immigrant Hector Muaimba, 21, of Waltham Forest, east London, who was also found guilty of one charge of rape.

He was sentenced to six years for the attack and is serving an additional two years for a separate Old Bailey conviction for robbery.

Their cases were referred to the Court of Appeal by Attorney General Baroness Scotland amid widespread public anger over the sentences.

Under normal procedures the men, aged between 18 and 20, could be eligible for early release halfway through their jail terms.

The three youths were among a gang of 10 who hoped to destroy evidence of the rape by pouring the corrosive fluid over the girl.

They had laughed while filming the attack on their mobile phones in an empty house. Their trial at London’s Wood Green Crown Court heard that the girl suffered burns over half her body.

“It is doubtful what form her life will take and whether she can operate fully as a young woman in the future,” judge Shaun Lyons had said when he handed down the original sentences in January.

Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Michael Holden