Beccles: Rapist's Sentence Increased

A 26-year-old man who was jailed for five years and four months after pleading guilty to rape has had his sentence increased.

Martin Tom was jailed in September after admitting gaining entry to a home in Beccles in May 2015 and raping a woman in her 30s who was at the address.

The sentence was challenged by police and CPS, in consultation with the victim, and a hearing at the court of appeal in London today has ruled that the original sentence had not taken into consideration that the rape had occurred in an act of a burglary at the woman's home.

Tom's custodial sentence was increased to seven years and six months, with an extended licence period of four-and-a-half years.

The court heard the victim had been asleep in her home when she was awoken by a presence in the room and realised a man was getting into her bed.

She recognised him as someone she had seen before and asked what he was doing in her bedroom, before telling him to get out. He then held her down and raped her.

She managed to get to the phone to call police and the man left the address as she was making the call. Martin Tom was detained close to the property a short time later.

In interview he told police he had been high on crack cocaine and drink and had been out all night. He admitted entering the home as a trespasser and going into her bedroom, initially intending to steal her mobile phone, and then admitted forcing himself on her.

He was charged with rape and resisting a police officer in the execution of their duty - after he tried to stop officers detaining him, and then tried to bite officers after his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to both offences at a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court on 14 August and was originally sentenced on Thursday 17 September, to five years and four months imprisonment with an extended licence period of four years.

Officer in the case DC Darren Winchester who, at the time of the sentencing, praised the woman's honesty, integrity and bravery said he believed the term should have been longer, due to the nature of the offence, and with the assistance of the Crown Prosecution Service the case was referred to the Attorney General and then to the Court of Appeal.

DC Winchester said; "We are very pleased that his sentence has been increased today, as the Justices acknowledged that the nature of the incident, commissioned during the act of burglary, had not been fully recognised in the initial sentencing.

"The victim had been disappointed with the sentence and working in conjunction with her and CPS we took this case to the Court of Appeal. This is the correct and proper result."

Detective Sergeant Simon Fitch who heads the serious sexual offences team at Lowestoft, known as Operation Gemini, said at the time of the original sentencing; "I would like to commend the courage displayed by the victim in this case. This was a truly abhorrent crime and I am glad that a dangerous and violent offender is off the streets. The Op Gemini team work tirelessly to bring offenders to justice and I would urge any victim of sexual crime to report to the police."

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