Judge turns down chance to increase rapist’s jail sentence

Michael Slevin
Michael Slevin

Drug dealer accused in shooting tells jury he blames ‘five other gangs’

Have your say

A RAPIST who was jailed for a knife-point attack on a teenager escaped having his sentence increased.

Michael Slevin was given 10 years last month for the attack on a woman as she walked home alone in Toronto Place, Gosport, in March 1985.

The former sailor, pictured, was told he would serve at least half the sentence – five years.

But Judge Roger Hetherington did not realise the offence fell under old legislation, meaning Slevin would instead have to serve two-thirds of the sentence – six years and six months.

Instead of forcing Slevin to serve longer in jail, the judge yesterday reconvened the case.

He reduced the 10-year sentence to seven-and-a-half years, which means Slevin will still only serve a minimum of five years in jail before being considered for release.

Judge Hetherington said: ‘The regime for someone sentenced in respect of an offence committed in 1985 was different... he remains at risk of serving up to two-thirds of that sentence before he could be released on licence.

‘It seems that the maximum sentence that should be imposed in order to guarantee that he is released after five years would be one of seven-and-a-half years and therefore I substitute that sentence.’

Slevin, who has been in custody since his trial, did not have to attend the hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday and he declined to do so.

During his two-week trial the 52-year-old denied ordering the woman into his car and attacking her.

But the jury heard damning DNA evidence which showed his semen had been found on the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Slevin, of Tamar Close, Callington, in Cornwall, was married and living at HMS Sultan, Gosport, at the time of the attack.

The victim had been watching a film at a friend’s house and was walking home late at night when she was abducted and subjected to her terrifying ordeal.

After Slevin was found guilty of rape, kidnap and two counts of indecent assault and one other sexual offence, she said: ‘To see the man who did that to me go to prison makes me feel that justice has been done, and hopefully he will now suffer in the same way I have done for the last 26 years.’