A man from Birmingham who raped a “very intoxicated” student as she made her way home after a night out has had his jail sentence increased by leading judges.
They announced at a hearing in London that a prisonsentence of four years imposed in the case of Mathew Whitmore, 25, of Small Heath, was “unduly lenient” – and raised it to six years.
Whitmore, who was jailed in June after pleading guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to an offence of rape, watched the Court of Appeal proceedings via video link from prison.
Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Jeremy Baker and Mr Justice Goss, said of his 19-year-old victim: “She was young, female, alone at night, and very intoxicated.”
The impact on her was “severe”. She was “paranoid” about going out alone, suffers panic attacks, and feels “tainted and robbed of her own choice, which was to save her virginity for her husband”.
After the hearing, Solicitor General Robert Buckland said in a statement: “This was an appalling attack where the completely innocent victim was steered to an isolated place and raped. Mathew Whitmore behaved atrociously.
“I asked the Court of Appeal to look at the sentence imposed in this case as I felt that four years’ imprisonment was just too low, given the offender’s total disregard for the victim’s well-being and the circumstances of this serious offence.”
He added: “I am pleased that the court found this sentence to be unduly lenient and imposed a higher term of six years’ imprisonment.
“Tackling rape and serious sexual assaults is a key priority for the criminal justice system and we will do all we can to support victims and assist in bringing serious offenders to the attention of the Court of Appeal.”