Ethnic origin of the victim as an aggravating factor in sentencing sexual offenders

Aisha K. Gill, Karen Harrison

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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This article examines R v Jamal Muhammed Raheem Ul Nasir, a Court of Appeal case where leave to appeal against a seven-year custodial sentence for sexual offences against children was refused. The appellant argued that his sentence length was excessive because the judge viewed the female victims’ ethnic and religious origin as an aggravating factor. In light of a number of charities’ condemning the judgment, this article evaluates whether the Court of Appeal made the correct decision, particularly in the wider context of sentencing principles. It also considers whether causing shame to a victim and her family can be regarded as an aggravating factor when sentencing sexual offences, and discusses the circumstances where the victim’s ethnic origin should be taken into account.

© 2017, National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers. The attached document (embargoed until 16/01/2018) is an author produced version of a paper published in JOURNAL OF SEXUAL AGGRESSION uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link below. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2017


  • shame
  • sentencing principles
  • aggravating factors
  • South Asian victims

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