Telegraph, September 17, 2015
A child molester who abused two Asian girls was rightly given a longer sentence than if his victims had been white because Asian sex crime victims suffer more, a leading judge has ruled.
Mr Justice Walker said it was proper for paedophile Jamal Muhammed Raheem Ul Nasir to have been given a tougher than normal sentence because his victims were Asian.
Ul Nasir, 32, carried out sex attacks on two young girls and was jailed for four years at Leeds Crown Court in December last year. He was convicted of two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and four counts of sexual activity with a child.
The judge who jailed him, Sally Cahill QC, specifically said that the fact the victims were Asian had been factored in as an “aggravating feature” when passing sentence.
She stated that the victims and their families had suffered particular “shame” in their communities because of what had happened to them.
Additionally, there were cultural concerns that the girls’ future prospects of being regarded as a “good catch” for arranged marriages might be damaged.
Lawyers for Ul Nasir, 32, of Liversedge, West Yorkshire, argued at London’s Criminal Appeal Court that his sentence had been unfairly inflated.
But their complaints were rejected by Mr Justice Walker, who said: “The victims’ fathers were concerned about the future marriage prospects for their daughters.
“Judge Cahill was having particular regard to the harm cause to the victims by this offending. That harm was aggravated by the impact on the victims and their families within this particular community”.
The argument that Ul Nasir was given a longer sentence due to his own “ethnic and religious origin” was based on “a misconception”, he added. “The judge who tried the case was in the best position to determine the correct sentence.”
Mr Justice Walker, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Mitting, concluded: “There is no basis for saying that Judge Cahill adopted an incorrect starting point. This application for leave to appeal against sentence must be refused.”
Speaking after the case, an NSPCC spokesman said: “British justice should operate on a level playing field and children need to be protected irrespective of cultural differences.
“Regardless of race, religion, or gender, every child deserves the right to be safe and protected from sexual abuse, and the courts must reflect this. It is vital that those who commit these hideous crimes are punished to the full limit of the law.”