No secrecy if a rapist is let out early
ASHLEY Shuck was jailed for eight years for rape in 2012.
After serving four he was released.
That may sound like a soft touch. But there are all sorts of reasons people are let out early.
It should be that there were checks in place to make sure his release was safe – police, social services, probation, psychologists, criminologists.
Maybe there were. But we don’t know.
Here, though, is what we do know. We know that weeks after he was given his freedom, Shuck turned up at a 77-year-old woman’s house at 7am.
We know that by pretending to be a gas engineer he gained entry to her home. We know he raped her twice. We also know a week earlier he sexually assaulted a young woman who he started talking to while she stood in her garden.
But what we don’t know is why he was released. We’re not allowed to know.
There is an investigation. But it will never be published.
Police say “national guidance” makes its contents secret.
We understand sentencing guidelines. We understand the concept of early release. So why is this kept from us? If there were mistakes or the procedure is flawed, the public has a right to know.
The Sunday People revealed that in the last five years 264 rapists repeated their crimes.
That suggests that something in the system is broken.
Operating in the dark is not right in cases like this.
If the authorities are prepared to set free those who commit some of the most heinous crimes imaginable then these are important decisions.
And we deserve to know how they are made.