Rapist Freed: Judge Says 12-Year-Old Victim Looked 16
Bhuta was 18 met the girl on Facebook. He thought she was 16. In February 2010, they met in Bolton. In March 2010, they has sex in a park in Penwortham “before going on a date at a Preston cinema. Bhuta then bought her a train ticket home to Greater Manchester.”
In May 2010, he pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a girl under 13. He was given a six-months jail term suspended for 18 months at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court. Detective Constable Brian Johnston, of Salford CID, said at the time:
“I hope this case sends out a message to people like Bhuta who use social networking sites to befriend underage girls for sexual purposes that we will arrest and prosecute you.”
Bhuta went to the Court of Appeal. The judges there agreed that the charge was too harsh. And, so, he’s been given a conditional discharge – if he passes the next 12 months without committing any offence the rape conviction will be removed from any records.
Gill Gibbons, chief executive officer of CROP (Coalition for the Removal of Pimping) said it was “very disappointing” and added: “We need to make sure those who are exploiting young people are convicted and prosecuted properly.”
South Ribble MP Conservative Lorraine Fullbrook says:
“I’m appalled, as any right minded member of public will be. Something has clearly gone seriously wrong with the system. My thoughts are with the girl and her family. I would urge all parents to be aware of the dangers the internet can present to their children.”
Bhuta “wept at the decision“.