A Paget man jailed for having unlawful carnal knowledge with a 13-year-old girl has had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.
Cleveland Rogers, 48, pleaded guilty to charges of having unlawful carnal knowledge and three counts of sexual exploitation relating to a single incident, which took place on December 4, 2013.
The Supreme Court heard that on that evening, Rogers had entered the bedroom of the sleeping victim and carried out the offences.
The victim told her mother about what happened and was immediately taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital. The complainant was able to identify Rogers as her attacker, and he was further linked to the offence by DNA evidence.
Judge Charles-Etta Simmons sentenced Rogers to five years in prison for unlawful carnal knowledge and three- and-a-half years for each charge of sexual exploitation, ordering that all sentences run concurrently and that time already served be taken into account.
However the Crown appealed against the sentence, calling it manifestly inadequate.
They also argued that Rogers should be required to serve at least half of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
The maximum penalty in law for unlawful carnal knowledge is 20 years in prison.
During a hearing in the Court of Appeal last month, prosecutor Karen King submitted that the appropriate sentence would be in the range of seven to nine years in prison given the circumstances of the case and Rogers’s guilty plea.
According to a judgment, the Court said the offence could only be described as the rape of a child, stating that the only factor in Rogers’ defence was that his guilty plea saved the victim and her mother from having to testify.
Given all the circumstances, the court ruled that Rogers’s sentence for unlawful carnal knowledge should be increased to 7½ years — a 50 per cent increase — while the sentence for the lesser offences should remain untouched.
The court further ordered that Rogers be placed on a sex offenders register and serve at least half of his sentence before being eligible for parole, saying: “This was a truly appalling series of offences and we think that the criterion of society’s denunciation of the offence is plainly met.”