According to information reported to the Home Office, 339 persons were sentenced for rape of a child under 16 in England and Wales in 2004, the latest year for which data are currently available. Where an offender was sentenced for more than one offence the statistics relate to where this offence attracted the longest sentence. The average custodial sentence length, excluding 21 life sentences, was 93.9 months.
Minimum and maximum sentences can be affected by errors in the data reported or may reflect very specific circumstances for a particular case. For this reason we have excluded the 5 per cent. of cases getting the longest sentences and the 5 per cent. of cases getting the shortest sentence to give a more robust estimate of the typical range of sentences given. This shows that 90 per cent. of cases received a sentence of between 36 months and life.
Figures reported to the Home Office for Luton and for Bedfordshire were too small for the corresponding figures to be meaningful.