Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Jailed: Laughing rapists who doused teenage victim with caustic soda

Three men, who filmed themselves gang-raping a 16-year-old girl before dousing her in caustic soda, were yesterday given prison sentences of up to nine years.

The girl, with a mental age of eight, screamed in pain as she was disfigured for life.

They later laughed while using their mobile phones to record her suffering on the first floor of an empty house undergoing renovation.

Her attackers were among a gang up to 10 who had hoped the powerful corrosive would destroy forensic evidence.

As she writhed in agony, they poured water on her, intensifying the burning.

The alarm was raised by a neighbour, who heard her “frantic” cries and found her with raw patches on her face and body.

Passing sentence, Judge Shaun Lyons said: “The most severe injuries and consequences came from the caustic soda. The victim has been left with severe post traumatic stress disorder and many, many physical difficulties.”

The judge said she will face bouts of severe depression, flashbacks and suicidal thoughts.

Part of her victim impact statement was read to Wood Green Crown Court yesterday, in which she said: “I have tried to forgive them for what they have done but it is so hard. I have to think about what happened... At this stage I don’t know where to begin. I hope one day they will feel sorry for what they have done to me.”

The court heard that more than half her body was badly burned in the attack and doctors feared she might die. A year on from the attack, she faces further surgery and is undergoing counselling.

In the dock were Jamaican-born Rogel McMorris (18) of Antill Road, Tottenham, north London, who was jailed for nine years after being convicted last month of two rape counts and one of causing grievous bodily harm.

Co-defendants Jason Brew (19) of High Cross Road, Haringey, north London, and 20-year-old Angolan immigrant Hector Muaimba, of Guildford Road, Waltham Forest, E17, were both found guilty of one charge of rape.

The each got six years for attacking the girl, although a further two years was added to Muaimba’s sentence for a separate Old Bailey conviction for robbery.

The victim’s uncle said in a statement on behalf the family: “The past 12 months have been a very difficult time for us as a family. The trauma, stress, depression and hopelessness have all been too difficult to bear.

“We would not have been able to cope but for the great help and invaluable support from police, doctors and staff of the various hospitals and clinics who have attended to and continue to attend to our daughter, social services, our local MP and his staff, pastors and church groups, our two families and well-wishing members of our community.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions is currently overseeing a public consultation on measures to support victims and witnesses with learning difficulties.