100 rapists are let off with a caution: The serious offences that never come to court
By Steve Doughty
Last updated at 3:07 AM on 10th November 2009
Teenage rape victim: Catherine Scott was disgusted when her abuser was let off with a caution
More than 100 rapists have been let off with a police caution, it was revealed yesterday. The 111 cases included 66 incidents of child rape.
The extent to which police forces have handed cautions to rapists, whose crime carries a maximum sentence of life in jail, was made public as Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced a full-scale review of the system of punishing crime with cautions and on-the-spot fines.
Mr Straw acted after a weekend when senior police chiefs and the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC called for curbs on the use of out-of-court punishments.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson also condemned the 'uncontrollable increase in cautions' and said that on-the-spot fines, now often used to punish offences such as shoplifting, 'in the public's minds equate to a parking ticket.'
The system of fixed-penalty fines and cautions has been introduced over the past six years as a way to deal with minor crime cheaply and effectively.
But the disclosure that cautions have been used repeatedly to deal with rapists is the clearest demonstration that the system is now being used to keep the most serious crimes out of the courts.
The figures released to MPs by the Home Office show numbers of cautions handed to rapists after the 2003 Sexual Offences Act became law in May 2004.
Between that date and the end of 2007 there were 45 cases of rape of adults in which the rapist admitted guilt but was released with a caution.
In a further 66 cases individuals who admitted raping a child under 13 were freed with a caution.
The figures from the Home Office gave no indication of why police chose to use cautions to punish a crime which, in the case of adult rape, typically attracts a prison sentence of five years.
Nor do they say how many rapists have been cautioned rather than tried since 2007.
A high proportion of the 66 child rapes may have involved very young offenders, and the offenders in many of the cases of adult rapes may have been intimate partners of the victims.
However no caution can be given in any case except where the suspect admits guilt. Therefore in all 111 cases prosecutors denied the courts an opportunity to examine the evidence and decide on sentencing.
Tory home affairs spokesman James Brokenshire said: 'It is deeply disturbing to think that the rape of a young child could be dealt with by little more than a telling off. The law should protect the vulnerable, yet Labour's caution culture is increasingly letting them down.'
Decisions to allow crimes as serious as rape to be dealt with by cautions are taken by the Crown Prosecution Service rather than police officers, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday.
Nevertheless the punishment faced by a rapist who is cautioned does not amount to anything more than two years on the sex offenders' register.
Figures also show cautions proliferating for lesser offences.
Last year, according to the BBC's Panorama programme, 39,000 people were cautioned for assault causing actual bodily harm.
There were 739 cautions for the much more serious offence of grievous bodily harm.
More than half a million offenders have been given repeat cautions since 2000 and in eight years between 2000 and 2008 some 2.2million cautions were handed out in all for crimes, including burglary and assault.
Another half million penalty notices for disorder, handed out of drunkenness, shoplifting and similar more minor crimes, were handed out between 2005 and 2007. In half of the cases, the criminal did not pay up.
There are also concerns that the penalty notices are now being used for burglary and robbery.
Mr Straw said yesterday that he and Home Secretary Alan Johnson are concerned at the use of out- of- court punishments. He added that a review would be run by the Office of Criminal Justice Reform.
He denied the Government had encouraged the use of cautions to reduce the prison population.
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Girl 'thrown into street by celebrity club after rape in toilets'
By Nick Mcdermott
Last updated at 1:32 AM on 10th November 2009
A friend of former model Sophie Anderton was dumped on the pavement ‘like a rag doll’ after being raped and beaten by a doorman at a top celebrity nightclub.
Bulgarian body-builder and part-time model Vasil Makaveev, 28, is accused of ‘luring’ the drunken victim into the toilets after closing before sexually assaulting her.
Staggering back to the bar, staff at The Collection were alerted by her hysterical screams, but instead of calling for aid, they dragged her to the exit where she was ‘dumped unceremoniously on the street’.
The Collection: The Kensington club where it is alleged bouncer Vasil Makaveev raped a girl
The venue in South Kensington, London, is popular hangout for Chelsea footballers and regularly welcomes ‘A’-list celebrities, including Princes William and Harry, Angelina Jolie, Jay Z , Hugh Grant and Elton John.
A medical examination the following day found more than 20 bruises and abrasions on the victim’s body. Traces of Makaveev’s bodily fluid were also found on her underwear.
The petite beauty had spent the day in early June watching polo with friends at West London’s exclusive Hurlingham Club before heading for drinks with Miss Anderton at The Collection.
She continued to drink white wine and champagne into the early hours and was the last person remaining at the club after saying goodbye to her friends.
It was after the doors closed that Makaveev ‘preyed’ on the young woman said Lisa Wilding, prosecuting.
‘We say this was a deliberate and calculated attack by a man who had responsibility for the welfare of everyone at the club, never mind a young, drunk, single girl,’ she said.
‘He preyed on her vulnerability by virtue of her drunkenness seconds after her male companion had left and lured her into the privacy of the toilets.’
She added: ‘The club was closed, it was empty. She was the only person left. We say he targeted her and lured her into the toilet and had his way with her.’
Miss Wilding said the victim believed she was going to the toilets, which are not covered by CCTV, to snort cocaine with the bouncer.
‘She definitely did not go to the toilets to engage in any sexual activity whatsoever with a man she had only just met and did not know,’ she said.
‘She told him ‘no’, she struggled and she resisted and she found the whole episode disgusting. As soon as she could make good her escape, she ran from the toilets and into the bar.
‘The CCTV shows she was hysterical, extremely upset and angry.’
But Makaveev followed her back to the bar and restrained her after she became increasingly frantic, Kingston Crown Court heard yesterday.
The restaurant manager and other staff were alerted by her cries, but instead of assisting her, they helped the doorman drag her out on to the street.
‘She is seen being picked up like a shop mannequin and carried out by this defendant helped by this colleagues, before she’s dumped unceremoniously on the street like a ragdoll,’ said Miss Wilding.
The doors were then shut, leaving the hysterical woman sobbing on the pavement.
But 10 minutes later club staff relented and came to her aid, and an ambulance was flagged down.
She remained highly agitated and screamed ‘nonce, pervert’ every time Makaveev approached her.
The police were called at 1.44am and the victim reported the attack to a female officer before she was taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Forensic officers who went to the club, where Chelsea star Ashley Cole was arrested earlier this year, found traces of Makaveev’s semen in the cubicle where the alleged attack took place.
Makaveev, of Northolt, Middlesex, denies one charge of rape.
The doorman, who has worked at the exclusive club for the past six years, does not deny a sexual act took place but claims it was consensual.
The case continues.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1226514/Girl-thrown-street-celebrity-club-rape-toilets.html#ixzz0WQoGYnMN