Drug-using teen rapist's sentence 'irresponsible' - Sensible Sentencing Trust

The teen was sentenced to a two year jail term.
The teen was sentenced to a two year jail term. Photo credit: Thomas Mead


The Sensible Sentencing Trust says the judge who sentenced a teen to two years' prison for raping a six-year-old was too lenient.

The then 16-year-old's age, remorse and good behaviour since the offending were cited as factors in Judge Jane McMeeken's sentencing.

The teen, who has name suppression, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual violation of a girl he was babysitting in 2015. He had been smoking cannabis.

"This offender knew he was taking illegal drugs and he knew that raping a six-year-old vulnerable and defenceless child was wrong," spokesperson Scott Guthrie said.

"This wasn't some random, drug-fuelled one-off crime - it was cold, callous and calculated."

He labelled the sentence "irresponsible, offender-friendly and lacking any chance of rehabilitation in such a short time frame".

"What sort of message does this send to the community? It would appear that the courts are now seemingly accepting that drug abuse is some sort of defence for violent or sexual offending," Mr Guthrie said.

Despite the victim's family forgiving the teen, Mr Guthrie said the babysitter should have been "the very person she should have been able to trust".

"I find it hard to believe that Judge McMeeken and our politicians don't realise just how wrong and weak this sentence is, and if they don't, they should," he said.

In their victim impact statements, the girl's family said they hoped her rapist could get the help he needs.

The teen suffered abuse as a child, and had no previous record of sexually abusive behaviour.