Three-year jail sentence for Peterborough rapist slammed by victim support charity
A sex assault victim support charity has slammed a sentence after a Peterborough rapist was jailed for three years.
Hayden Melton, (23), raped his victim after meeting her on online dating app Tinder.
Melton was given the sentence at Peterborough Crown Court after he was found guilty of rape following a five-day trial.
The court heard how Melton met the 23-year-old on Tinder in March last year and became close to her over a three-week period.
The incident happened when he invited her over to his house in Fulbridge Road, Peterborough, in the early hours of Saturday, 14 April.
Officers arrested him at his house later that day after the victim disclosed what happened to family and friends.
Following the sentence, Lizzy Dening, trustee for Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group said: “It’s great news that this man has been brought to justice, especially considering that UK juries convict less than a third of men brought to trial on average.
“We are however shocked and disappointed by the short length of the sentence, when the survivor involved will experience the repercussions of his actions for much longer.
“ The average national sentence for rape is 9.5 years, so this is an unusually light punishment.”
Ms Dening added: “It’s sad that women might feel the need to be cautious on internet dates, but that is the world we’re currently living in.
“If you’re meeting someone it might be a good idea to tell a friend or family member where you’re going, and when they should expect you back home.
“Make sure to meet in a public place, and if they say or do anything which makes you uncomfortable don’t hesitate to walk away, or ask someone for help.
“We’d like to remind all survivors who have found this story triggering that Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group is available to them. Call our free helpline on Wednesday evening or Saturday morning 01733 852 578 or visit www.caprcp.org.uk.”
DC Jo Nicholson, from Cambridgeshire police added: “This has had a lasting effect on the victim and I’d like to commend her bravery in coming forward.
“While the majority of people using online dating websites are doing so with honest intentions, our experiences show us that there are people on there who display sexual predatory behaviour.
“We would also ask that if anyone has concerns around the behaviour of someone on these sites, that they report them to us. While we absolutely want to prevent people becoming victims, we also want to target potential offenders.”