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Knifepoint rapist has sentence cut by judge

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: May 11, 2011

A CALLINGTON rapist who attacked a teenager at knifepoint has had his sentence reduced.

Michael Slevin, 52, of Tamar Close, had his decade-long prison term cut to seven and a half years after the judge became confused about his sentence.

The former sailor was given ten years at Portsmouth Crown Court last month after being found guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman in Gosport in March 1985.

But Judge Roger Hetherington was unaware the rape came under old legislation as the offence occurred more than a quarter of a century ago.

At the original sentencing, Judge Hetherington told Slevin he would serve at least five years of his ten-year term, as he did not realise the offence's age meant the rapist would have to stay behind bars for two-thirds of his sentence – six years and six months.

Realising his mistake, the judge reconvened the case and slashed Slevin's jail time to seven and a half years, meaning he will still only have to serve a minimum of five years before being considered for release.

Judge Hetherington said: "The regime for someone sentenced in respect of an offence committed in 1985 was different ... he remains at risk of serving up to two-thirds of that sentence before he could be released on licence.

"It seems that the maximum sentence that should be imposed in order to guarantee that he is released after five years would be one of seven and a half years and therefore I substitute that sentence."

Slevin, who was married and living at HMS Sultan at the time of the offence, did not attend the hearing.

Slevin was jailed after new DNA technology secured his conviction.

He claimed to have slept with up to 90 women around the time of the attack – despite being married – and could not explain why his DNA was found on the victim.

Technological advances led police to re-examine the unsolved rape last year and a jury found Slevin guilty of rape, kidnap, two charges of indecent assault and another sexual offence.

Speaking after his trial, his victim said: "Justice has been done.

"Having to relive on two occasions what happened to me – once to the police and once in court – has brought back the horror of that night.

"To see the man who did that to me go to prison makes me feel that justice has been done, and hopefully he will now suffer in the same way I have done for the past 26 years."

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