A man who raped a woman as she lie in bed with her children has had his 25-year prison term cut on appeal to 20 years.
Anthony Penn, who is also known as Anthony Smith, was convicted of rape, burglary and armed robbery in 2012. He received concurrent sentences of 25 years for the armed robbery and rape, and 10 years for the burglary.
According to the evidence, the victim was asleep at her home on April 25, 2011 when she was awoken by Penn who put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her if she moved.
He demanded money but settled on taking her cell phone after she said that she didn’t have any.
Penn then raped the woman in the bed where her twin sons were asleep.
During the sexual assault, the woman realized that Penn wasn’t holding the gun, so she grabbed it and realized that it was a toy.
The woman fought back and Penn pulled a screwdriver from his waist and attempted to stab her. The rape victim’s mother and sister came into the room after her screams alerted them to the intruder. They struggled with Penn, who stabbed her mother in the hand with the screwdriver.
However, he was detained with the help of a neighbor until police arrived.
The court found no merit in any claims that the convictions were unsafe and irregularities in the summing up made the trial unfair.
However, the court found that the sentence for rape was too severe for a first conviction.
The court reasoned: “The crime was aggravated in this case as the appellant broke into the house of the complainant, used an imitation firearm to frighten her, and raped her while her young children slept in the bed with her. Furthermore, the complainant was put through the ordeal of giving evidence in a trial.
“Notwithstanding, we are of the view that a sentence of 25 years was unduly harsh for a first offense of rape and a proper starting point would be 15 years to be increased to 20 years having regard to the aggravating factors referred to.”
The sentences for the armed robbery and burglary remain unchanged.
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