Longer sentences for sex attackers

TWO men serving seven and nine-year prison sentences will be imprisoned for longer after Essex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service lodged an appeal against “unduly lenient” sentences.

TWO men serving seven and nine-year prison sentences will be imprisoned for longer after Essex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service lodged an appeal against “unduly lenient” sentences.

The men were tried at Chelmsford Crown Court in June last year following an incident at a home in Saffron Walden in 2004 where three men forced their way into premises armed with knives and a firearm and wearing “Scream” masks.

Two women were tied up and subjected to serious sexual assaults and rape, and money and property was stolen.

Following the trial, Essex Police and the Crown Prosecution Service lodged an appeal against the sentences of Van Dong Vu, 21, who was of no fixed address at the time of his arrest, and Hoang Le, aged 19, who was from Welshpool Street, Hackney.


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The pair appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday. Le had his seven-year concurrent sentence for aggravated burglary, indecent assault and theft increased to nine years while Vu had his nine-year concurrent sentence for aggravated burglary and rape increased to 12 years.

Yesterday, retired Detective Superintendent, Nobby Clarke, who is now one of Essex Police's cold case review officers and led the investigation, said: "We are very pleased that the Crown Prosecution Service took the decision that an appeal should be pursued.

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“We are equally pleased that sentences have now been handed down that better reflect the seriousness of the crime.”

A huge police hunt was launched in March 2004 and officers spoke to hundreds of residents and drivers. They described the victims' 30-minute ordeal as “nothing short of brutality”.

The assailants wore skull masks similar to those seen in the horror film Scream and the incident sent shockwaves through the local community.

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