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Longer in jail for 'haven' attacks

Increased jail sentences have been handed out to three men who sexually attacked women during burglaries in homes they were entitled to regard as "safe havens".

Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting at the Appeal Court in London with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Davis, ruled that their original terms were "unduly lenient".

In the case of Michael Anigbugu, 34, of Tottenham, north London, who twice raped a 37-year-old woman in her home during a burglary at night and threatened to kill her if she told police, the judges increased his eight-year prison sentence to 15 years.

Hyung-Woo Pyo, 23, from Loughborough, Leicestershire, who tied up, gagged, blindfolded and raped a fellow Loughborough University student in her halls of residence bedroom and stole property from his 20-year-old victim, also had his eight-year term replaced with a sentence of 15 years.

The court increased the six-year sentence imposed on mobile dog groomer Mark McGee, 48, from Germoe, near Penzance, Cornwall, to 14 years and six months. McGee, who was armed with a knife, broke into the home of an elderly man and bound and gagged the pensioner's carer before robbing her and carrying out a violent sex assault.

The judges made their ruling after hearing submissions from the Solicitor General Edward Garnier QC, who described the three cases as "safe haven" cases, where the attacks had taken place in private premises where the women were entitled to feel safe.

He said: "Despite the sentencing judges' best efforts they fell into error in these particular cases and the sentences in each was unduly lenient."

Lord Judge said: "The facts of two of the three cases represent the ultimate nightmare for any woman asleep in her own home at night on her own. The third involves a woman seriously sexually assaulted while caring for a fragile old man whose home was burgled."

Stressing that our homes should be our safest refuge, he said: "This is the place above all that should be inviolable, where we should be left undisturbed and at peace."

Lord Judge added: "It is bad enough to be the victim of a burglary even when one is away from home. Worse still is to wake up to the chilling discovery that a burglar has made his way into the house and then to remember that you are on your own, vulnerable and defenceless."

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