Law Reform Essay

765 Words4 Pages
Bilal Skaf is the most notorious rapist in Australia’s history. His victims were systematically sexually abused by Skaf and a group of his friends, including his brother, Mohammed Skaf, on three separate occasions. To this day, neither Bilal nor his brother has shown any signs of remorse for their actions. The elements of crime of Mens Rea and Actus Reus are both clearly identifiable in each of the rapes. Good morning Ms Hudson and fellow classmates The ring-leader of these gang rapes was Bilal Skaf. Skaf was sentenced to a record 55 years imprisonment as new legislation was brought in to cater specifically for this offence. This legislation was the Crimes Sexual Assault in Company Act, which drastically increased the sentences for gang rapists by creating a new category of crime known as Aggravated Sexual Assault In Company. On September 16, 2005, the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal reduced Skaf's 55 year sentence to a maximum of 28 years, with parole available after 22 years. The judge made the statement that although Skaf’s crime was unthinkable, the magnitude of the crime did not warrant such a harsh sentence. The crime was not classed as ‘worst case scenario’. Bilal Skaf will now be eligible for release on February 11, 2033. One of the main reasons behind his reduction of sentence was that two jurors jeopardised the trial by conducting their own ‘investigation’ at the crime scene while deliberations were taking place. As there was to be a new trial the victims would have to be called back to testify. The victims stated that it would be too emotionally traumatic for them to reappear and testify. This led to more legislation being brought in so that Victim Impact Statements and previous case transcripts relating to the same trial could be used in retrials. The question was ‘were they as effective in arousing the emotions of the jurors to give the

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