March 2007

Rapist is spared prison by judge

A 24-year-old man who pleaded guilty to raping a girl under 13 has been spared a prison term because he was “misled” about her age, a court heard.

The 12-year-old girl agreed to have sex with Jamel Hoang at his home in July, last year, Luton Crown Court heard.

Hoang, of High Town Road, Luton, Beds, pleaded guilty to the offence, which is technically classed as rape because the girl was too young to give her consent.

He was given a nine-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

‘Bragged to friend’

Hoang was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years and must not have unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 16 for five years.

Judge Gareth Davies told him: “You could have gone to prison today for about 15 months but I take into account that you were misled about her age and that she consented and may have been fairly anxious to get involved.”

Beverley Cripps, prosecuting, told how Hoang had sex with the victim and her 16-year-old friend then bragged about it to a friend in a text message.

Hoang was arrested after the girl confided in her foster carer.

When Hoang was told the girl’s real age he acted “dumbfounded”, claiming he thought she was 16.

Photographs he had taken of her, which suggested she looked older than her true age, were produced in court.