Rapist Adrian Olley's sentence was too tough judges rule

The Court of Appeal has ruled the sentence imposed on a rapist who threw his victim into a river was too tough.

Adrian Leonard Olley, 30, of Blofield, Norfolk, dragged the woman to a riverbank in Norwich and attacked her in June 2012.

He was sentenced to imprisonment for public protection which is regarded as almost identical to a life term.

But three judges who heard the appeal in London said a sentence without a possibility of release was too harsh.

Senior judges Mr Justice Irwin, Mr Justice Griffith Williams, who were led by Lord Justice More-Bick, gave Olley an 11-year custodial sentence, but ordered that he be subject to licence conditions for a further five years after that.

Screamed for help

The court heard Olley gave the woman a lift in a taxi he was travelling in, but they argued and both got out.

He pulled her by her arms down some steps to the River Wensum by Bishop Bridge and threw her in the water, before dragging her out and raping her as she screamed for help.

The rapist was sentenced by Judge Stephen Holt at Norwich Crown Court in January.

He said he considered Olley "dangerous", a legal term meaning he poses a significant risk of serious harm in the future.

Olley's lawyers argued on Wednesday it was wrong to find him dangerous and, even if he was, a sentence without a guarantee of release was too harsh.

'Dangerous offender'

A standard sentence with "extended" licence provisions would be enough to protect the public, the judges were told.

Giving judgment, Lord Justice Moore-Bick said the judge could not "properly be criticised for finding the appellant was a dangerous offender".

But they said they did agree with counsel that "the judge didn't sufficiently consider the alternatives to IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection).

"We have reached the conclusion that the appropriate sentence was an extended sentence."

Under his new sentence, Olley will serve five-and-a-half years before release, then be on licence for the rest of the 11-year term and for a further five years beyond that on "extended" licence.

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