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"Cold and callous" man who raped four women has his sentence doubled

The judge imposed an extra ten years on the original sentence
The judge imposed an extra ten years on the original sentence

A "cold and callous" rapist has had his jail sentence doubled by judges at the Court of Appeal.

They declared that the 10-year term being served by John Dennis, 43, from Redditch, Worcestershire, who raped four women over 16 years, was "unduly lenient", and increased it to 20 years.

Lady Justice Rafferty, sitting in London with two other judges, said: "This was a chronicle of cold, callous sexual degradation of four women over 16 years - the youngest a sad, turbulent, vulnerable schoolgirl of 15."

Dennis watched proceedings via videolink from prison today as the judge described his offending as "grave", and emphasised the need to impose a sentence to "deter others".

In April, Dennis was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to a custodial term of 10 years after being convicted of five counts of rape and three of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Lady Justice Rafferty quashed the original term of imprisonment. A four-year extended period on licence imposed by the trial judge remains part of his sentence.

Solicitor General Robert Buckland said after the ruling: "I asked the Court of Appeal to look at this 10-year term under the unduly lenient sentence scheme because of the seriousness and magnitude of rapes committed over a sustained period of time.

"John Dennis's highly predatory behaviour caused untold misery to his victims, who should be commended for finding the courage to come forward.

"I hope that the doubling of this sentence to 20 years offers some degree of comfort to them and reassures the public that offences of this kind will be treated with the utmost seriousness and the perpetrators will serve a long time in prison."