July 2008

Wallsend rapist may be free within four years

Rapist Alan Thompson could be back on the streets within four years.

The thug was jailed indefinitely for a vicious attack but has had his sentence reduced to seven years.

It means he could apply for parole in three-and-a-half years’ time.

That’s the prospect his distraught victim and her family have to endure.

Court judges have allowed Thompson’s appeal against sentence to go ahead and now further anguish has been piled on his victim.

And a police chief today said officers have to place their trust in the justice system to ensure Thompson is no longer a danger to women when he is eventually released.

Thompson, of Tynemouth Road, Wallsend, was just 16 when he carried out his attack, dragging his victim into a back street to rape her in January last year in Camperdown, North Tyneside, and then laughing in her face as he robbed her.

In April the Chronicle was able to name and shame Thompson, who had turned 17.

He was sent to a detention centre indefinitely after being convicted of the callous crime following a four-day trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

The victim’s mother told the Chronicle: “The Probation Service has told us Thompson was allowed to appeal and it went ahead straight away.

“The indefinite sentence has been replaced with a sentence of seven years with an extended licence of three years after that.

“He can apply for parole after three-and-half years. He still has to be on the sex offenders register as before. That hasn’t been changed.”

His 18-year-old victim’s life was shattered after she was pounced on while walking home.

She said: “He was allowed to appeal and this is a softer sentence. I felt the judge got it right last time and I’m devastated he was given leave to appeal in the first place.”

Thompson had stalked the young woman after she had spent a night out with friends in North Tyneside. He raped her before snatching her handbag.

His victim, from North Tyneside, told the Chronicle: “I don’t understand how he can do this. It’s never going to go away.”

Her mother added: “We just wanted her to be able to get over this and get on with life. She was doing really well and now is very upset all over again.

“We are very angry that he can continue to hurt our daughter even now he is in prison.

“My daughter’s life was destroyed by this sickening assault. She is an intelligent young woman. She had the prospects of going to university but she couldn’t take her exams and lost out on a promising future.”

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