Two Romanians jailed in the UK for the brutal rape of a teenager are to have their sentences reduced after being transferred back home.
Beniamin-Ovidiu Ban, 33, and Cosmin Vintan, 30, were both convicted of two counts of rape for the terrifying attack on a 16-year-old girl in which one of them even threatened to kill her if she did not stop screaming.
Ban was jailed for 14 years and Vintan for 16 years in a trial at Northampton Crown Court in May 2017 after they attacked the teenager at about 4am on a Sunday morning.
They approached her as she walked to meet her boyfriend after a night out with friends, dragged her into an alleyway and attacked her.
They have been serving their in a UK jail and UK officials had requested they be sent back to Romania to serve the sentence. Ban had agreed but Vintan had refused to go, and UK officials then had to issue a deportation order to move them to Romania.
The Alba Iulia Court of Appeal in Romania confirmed that UK officials had issued a deportation order against Vintan after the attack on 24th of April 2016 in which in a dark and narrow alley, “through the exercise of acts of violence and threats of death they forced the girl aged 16 to have sex and oral sex”.
Now Romanian officials have examined the case and are ready to authorise the transfer of the pair, but added that the sentence for both will be reduced to 12 years. This is because sentences over 12 years for rape are not possible under Romanian law.
Announcing its ruling the court said that the reduction of the sentence was “motivated by the fact that the British sentence does not correspond either in nature or in duration with a sentence that could have been applied to the convicted person had they been tried in a Romanian court for this crime.”
It was revealed during the hearings that Vintan had been jailed for another rape by the Hunedoara District Court and sentenced to 8 years in prison, that should have seen him released no sooner than 1 August 2016, but for unknown reasons he was paroled in July 2013 with 1,074 days still to go, and he then left for the UK where he eventually was convicted of raping the British girl.
However the British court appears not to take into account that the other defendant, Beniamin-Ovidiu Ban, who was jailed for 14 years, had also been convicted for in Romania for an offence that was not specified and was therefore also a “recidivist”.
He had been given a two-year jail term by the Caransebes District Court in June 2013 suspended for four years, which meant the crime carried out in the UK should have seen the earlier sentence considered.
However the Romanian official said that the failure of the British court to take into account the man’s recidivism could no longer be rectified during the transfer process as it should have been dealt with during the original sentence.
At the time of the conviction, Detective Constable Kirsty Bathe from Northamptonshire police said: “Two dangerous and violent men who deliberately targeted a vulnerable female have been given sentences that reflect the seriousness of their crime.
“The victim has shown immense courage and strength standing up to her offenders not only to ensure they are put behind bars but also to prevent them from attacking other vulnerable women.
“I hope the sentences provide some closure for the victim but also demonstrates to the public of Northamptonshire that we remain resolute in our determination get make Northampton a safe place to be.”
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