Man jailed for Beccles rape has sentence extended

Martin Tom

Martin Tom - Credit: Archant

A 26-year-old Beccles man who was jailed in September after raping a woman in her bed has had his sentence increased.

Martin Tom, of St Matthew's Avenue, was jailed in September for five years and four months with an extended licence period of four years, after admitting gaining entry to a home in Beccles in May, and raping a woman in her 30s who was at the address.

Today the Court of Appeal raised the sentence to a custodial term of seven years and six months with an extended licence period of four years and six months.

The original sentence was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC MP, who said: 'By Martin Tom's own admission, he entered his victim's home as a trespasser and committed this appalling rape. Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home, and I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has increased Tom's sentence to reflect the aggravating features in this case.'

The court heard the victim had been asleep in her home when she was awoken by a presence in the room and realised a man was getting into her bed.

She recognised him as someone she had seen before and asked what he was doing in her bedroom, before telling him to get out. He then held her down and raped her.

She managed to get to the phone to call police and the man left the address as she was making the call. Tom was detained close to the property a short time later.

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In interview he told police he had been high on crack cocaine and drink and had been out all night. He admitted entering the home as a trespasser and going into her bedroom, initially intending to steal her mobile phone, and then admitted forcing himself on her.

He was charged with rape and resisting a police officer in the execution of their duty – after he tried to stop officers detaining him, and then tried to bite officers after his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to both offences at a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court on August 14 and was originally sentenced on Thursday, September 17.

Officer in the case DC Darren Winchester who, at the time of the sentencing, praised the woman's honesty, integrity and bravery said he believed the term should have been longer, due to the nature of the offence, and with the assistance of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) the case was referred to the Attorney General and then to the Court of Appeal.

DC Winchester said: 'We are very pleased that his sentence has been increased today, as the Justices acknowledged that the nature of the incident, commissioned during the act of burglary, had not been fully recognised in the initial sentencing.

'The victim had been disappointed with the sentence and working in conjunction with her and CPS we took this case to the Court of Appeal. This is the correct and proper result.'