Febuary 2008

Fury as sex fiend has sentence cut

THE Appeal Court has reduced the 15-year sentence handed out a year ago to rapist Robbie Wells by three years.

Wells, 36, of Sillington Lane, Poulshot,was jailed for 15 years by Judge Keith Cutler at Salisbury Crown Court in February 2007.

He had denied raping a Marlborough 15-year-old and sexually assaulting two other under age girls.

He appealed against his conviction and the sentence, but only the latter was dealt with.

His mother, Margaret Wells, who lives in Devizes, said: “We have put straight in for another appeal

“At the end of the day there was no real evidence against him.”

This week, on hearing Wells’ sentence was being reduced by three years, the father of one of the girls he assaulted said: “I cannot believe it.

“The jury was unanimous in its verdicts and the judge made it clear with his remarks that this was the right sentence considering what Wells had done. The decision to cut his sentence by a fifth clearly shows that the law is an ass.

“If anything the appeal judges should given him another ten years on top of the 15. Now there is every chance he will be out after five or six years if he behaves himself in jail.

“The thing that worries us as parents is that when Wells comes out he will not have changed his ways and will still be a menace as far as young girls are concerned.”

Wells was living in Devizes at the time of his arrest but was brought up in Marlborough where the rape took place.

Wells, who was employed as an office cleaner, admitted having sex with the girl but claimed it was with her consent.

He denied raping her, and also denied 11 further charges involving two other girls of engaging in sexual activity with them or inciting them to have sexual contact with him. The jury at Salisbury Crown Court was out for six-and-a-half hours before returning with unanimous guilty verdicts.

The father of one of the victims said: “He got what he deserved. He is a sick and perverted person who preys on vulnerable young girls.”

On Monday three judges sitting at the Appeal Court accepted that the 15-year term had been “manifestly excessive”.

Wells had argued that the rape victim was sexually experienced and might therefore be treated as less vulnerable than an innocent girl.

The rest of the charges related to two different girls, who, the Crown said, Wells had subjected to sex acts several times.

As well as appealing against the length of his sentence Wells, who is currently in Wandsworth Prison in London, also appealed against his conviction. All but one of his grounds of challenge were dismissed.