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Child sex offender’s sentence will not be increased

A child sex offender jailed for 18 months will not get a heavier sentence, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

Cindy Clarke, for the Crown, argued that Chez Rogers should serve at least three years after he was convicted on charges of luring and having unlawful carnal knowledge of a 13-year-old girl.

But Justice of Appeal Geoffrey Bell said in a written judgment: “In relation to the charge of luring, Ms Clarke for the Crown emphasises the need for this court to give some guidance as to the appropriate range of sentence.

“It seems to me that the judge took the appropriate view of the seriousness of the luring charge in this case, and the sentence she imposed reflects that, and is in a reasonable range when compared to the more serious charge of unlawful carnal knowledge.

“In my view this is a case where the sentences, both on the unlawful carnal knowledge and on the luring charge, may be said to have been on the lenient side, but I would not regard them as being so much so that the sentences, taken together and bearing in mind the totality principle, could be described as manifestly inadequate.

“In the circumstances, I would dismiss the appeal.”

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons said at Rogers’ June sentencing that, under normal circumstances, he could expect to face at least two years behind bars.

But she added that the defendant, who was 19 when the offences took place, had pleaded guilty to the charges and was of previous good character.

Rogers was handed jail terms of 18 months on the unlawful carnal knowledge charge and 12 months for luring, to be served concurrently.

But the Crown, who said the sentence was “manifestly inadequate”, launched an appeal.

Ms Clarke said at an appeal hearing earlier this month: "The sentence imposed by the learned sentencing judge was disproportionate to the gravity of the acts of the respondent.

“The respondent’s acts were highly reprehensible and sufficiently serious and he was sufficiently blameworthy to warrant a significantly greater penalty than what was given.”

The case made headlines after defence lawyer Charles Richardson said that Rogers’ victim should shoulder some responsibility for the crimes.

Mr Richardson at the sentencing: “It has become sport for young girls to see if they can have sex with an older guy.

“Young women actively pursue older men and they lie to them. He was led to believe she was older than she was, but it's not a defence because of her age.”

The comments were condemned by Mrs Justice Simmons and child protection agencies.

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