May 2010

Man has appeal against attempted rape sentence rejected

A MAN who attempted to rape a 14-year-old girl in an Old Basford park has today had an appeal against an indeterminate prison sentence rejected.

Abdelsalam Hassan, 34, of Ilkeston Road, Nottingham, was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment for public protection at Nottingham Crown Court in October last year after attempting to rape the teenager in Vernon Park in February 2009.

The court sentenced Hassan to a minimum of five years.

He has now had a Court of Appeal challenge rejected.

His lawyers had argued that the judge making the sentence had been wrong to prefer a probation officer’s assessment of his “dangerousness” over a psychiatrist’s.

The psychiatrist said they did not consider Hassan deserved the indeterminate sentence, while the probation officer, in a pre-sentence report, said it was necessary to protect the public.

But in rejecting Hassan’s case, Mrs Justice Slade said: “We don’t accept the contention that the sentence for public protection was wrong in principle.

“The guidelines make it clear that the sentence of imprisonment for public protection must be considered in all cases of rape.

“In our judgment, the learned sentencing judge identified the relevant principles in deciding whether to impose a sentence of IPP and took into account the relevant factors.

“He was fully entitled to accept the assessment of dangerousness made in the pre-sentence report.”