Teenage cousins who repeatedly raped two Huddersfield prostitutes have had their appeals against the sentences refused.
Lucas Sienkiewicz was only 17 and his cousin Daniel just 16 and newly-arrived from Poland, when they twice went to the red light area of the town in the space of six weeks, targeting and raping a sex worker on each occasion.
At their trial at Leeds Crown Court in June, Lucas Sienkiewicz was sentenced to 14 years detention in a young offenders institution and his younger cousin Daniel received 11 years and three months. Daniel pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, while Lucas admitted three.
Sentencing them the trial Judge Tom Bayliss QC said he had reduced the sentences because of their youth and guilty pleas “But these were planned, determined and violent attacks on highly vulnerable victims.”
Judge Bayliss said Lucas was the dominant participant in “these terrible offences” but his cousin had willingly joined in what happened.
Yesterday (Thursday) both cousins requested the London Criminal Appeal Court to cut their sentences, arguing that they had been treated too harshly.
Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice Holroyde and Mr Justice Wilkie heard that the cousins first visited Huddersfield’s red light district in October 2015, where the cousins approached a woman and offered her £30 for oral sex.
They took her to a remote location and handed her £15 – telling her they would give her the rest afterwards.
She performed oral sex on Daniel – who had only recently arrived in the UK.
But then Lucas told her she had to have sex with him.
When she tried to leave, one of them dragged her into an alley by the hair – where the pair took turns to rape her without a condom.
The victim later said she had “wondered whether they would beat her, kill her or set her on fire.”
She described what happened as “the worst experience of her life”, saying she was “terrified and thought she would die” and now feels “suicidal.”
The pair returned to the red light district the following month and raped another prostitute in very similar circumstances.
That victim later said she now “can’t sleep” and has “lost all her self-confidence.”
Lawyers for the pair today argued their sentences were too long but summing up Mr Justice Wilkie disagreed, and refused both their appeals.
Mr Justice Wilkie said: “This was a most serious example of rape. Lukasz was the instigator and physically played the more dominant role, but the two acted together with a significant degree of planning.”
“Aggravating features included the deliberate targeting of sex workers because they were vulnerable and the fact that the offences were committed on two separate occasions against two different victims.”
“These are young offenders and these are very long sentences for young men.”
“However they were guilty of very serious offences which caused lasting harm to both their victims.”
“They knew what they were doing and the fact that they carried out a second visit to the red light district adds very substantially to the overall gravity of the offending.”
“It is impossible to find fault in the approach of the sentencing judge.”