Child rapist's jail term cut by two years

TWO years' jail has been taken off the sentence of a convicted child rapist on appeal.

Suriya Choomwantha, 46, was found guilty at a trial last year of abducting and raping a five-year-old girl at a large party in Springfield.

He was sentenced to 10 years' prison and declared a serious violent offender.

The sentence was taken to the Court of Appeal by Choomwantha whose defence claimed it was manifestly excessive.

Late at night on November 13, 2010 at a massive party with much of the Springfield Thai community Choomwantha took the five-year-old girl.

He hid her behind a car where he raped her.

After a frantic search for the girl by members of the party she was released by Choomwantha and found scared and bloody.

A medical examination found injuries to the girl's genitals.

Court of Appeal judge John Muir said while Choomwantha's actions were "grave" the 10-year sentence was manifestly excessive.

"The applicant's offending was grave," Justice Muir said.

"His five-year-old victim was physically injured and suffered pain and emotional distress.

"Any sentence must accommodate the need for both personal and general deterrence.

"It should also demonstrate the community's abhorrence of the use of small children for the purposes of sexual gratification."

He said the prior cases on which Choomwantha's sentence had been based were in different circumstances.

"The abduction in this case, however, was not comparable to the taking of a child from a yard or street into a room in a building in which the offender has the child at his mercy and is free to pursue his objectives without fear of detection," he said.

"The complainant was taken only a few metres from a yard into a location only partly obscured from view."

Choomwantha's 10-year sentence and serious violent offender declaration were set aside, and a term of eight years prison imposed in its place.

Topics:  court of appeal rape

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