An Iraqi immigrant who raped a 15-year-old girl in Glasgow Green park in Scotland has been handed a mere four year prison sentence.
Saif Alhilali, 22, who was born in Iraq, attacked the teenage girl in the park on March 5, 2021, and was found by the jury to have raped her when she was “highly intoxicated” and completely unable to give consent, during the trial last year.
On Monday, Alhilali appeared before Judge Douglas Brown at Glasgow High Court, who gave him the four year sentence, along with being placed indefinitely on the sex offenders register. “In relation to harm, rape can have a very significant and lasting effect on a victim,” Judge Brown said during sentencing. “This was a young girl who you had never previously met. She was highly intoxicated and you took advantage of the situation.”
His defence lawyer, Frances Connor, claimed before sentencing that Alhilali thought the victim was the “instigator” of the sexual contact, that she was not “so under the influence of drink,” and that she was older than she actually was. Connor also brought up that Alhilali’s immigration status would “likely” be affected as a result of the prosecution.
Following the news being reported, social media users were quick to question why Alhilali received such a lax sentence.
“A rapist pedophile, this is fuel we need to prop up our pensions?” asked X user Mithras. “Why is he only being jailed for 4 years and why is he in Scotland?”
Scotland currently does not have sentencing guidelines for sexual offences, as they are currently being formulated by the Scottish Sentencing Council. In England and Wales, the sentencing guidelines for rape give 5 years custody as the starting point for the least serious rape charges in culpability and harm, with 4 as the absolute minimum for the crime.
In 2022, the Scottish Sentencing Council released new guidelines designed to reduce the amount of time served, or any at all, for criminals under the age of 25. The Council claimed that offenders under the age of 25 do not have a “fully developed brain,” basing their opinion off of research from Edinburgh University.
The new sentencing guidelines resulted in an uproar in April last year, after 21-year-old Sean Hogg was given only a community payback sentence after he was found guilty of raping a 13-year-old girl in a country park in 2018.