§ Sir George Young
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information he has on recent trends in sentencing in rape cases.
§ Mr. Hurd
Court sentencing figures for 1986 are not yet complete but more recent information is available on the346W effective length of all the sentences (including consecutive sentences) of persons received into prison for the principal offence of rape. It suggests a lengthening of sentences since the Lord Chief Justice's guideline judgment of 21 February 1986 in R v. Billam: in March-September 1986, about 45 per cent, of those entering prison under sentence for rape or attempted rape had an effective sentence length of more than five years; in the corresponding period a year earlier, the proportion was about 20 per cent.