I find it disgusting and disheartening that a drug charge or a murder charge can get a person up to life in prison but Rape and sexual assault charges bring notoriously low prison times if the perpetrator(s) serve any time at all.
Two men have been jailed for raping a teenage boy in the toilets of a Debenhams store.
Abdelkader El Janabi, 55, and Alex Wilson-Fletcher, 42, abducted their 14-year-old victim in Manchester's Arndale Centre on a busy Saturday afternoon last summer.
They marched him to the toilets of a nearby Debenhams where they carried out a "sustained attack" on him.
Wilson-Fletcher, of Oldham Street, Manchester, and El Janabi, of Artillery Court, Ardwick, Manchester, were convicted by a jury of two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault following a nine-day trial in April.
El Janabi, a former intelligence officer in Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime, was jailed for 15 years.
Wilson-Fletcher, a law firm worker, received the same sentence.
The pair were tracked down after images from CCTV were circulated around the UK by police.
Sentencing them at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Michael Leeming QC said: "In all probability, what you did to him in his formative years will stay with him.
"Neither of you thought of that at the time. You were more concerned with your own sexual gratification."
The judge heard the boy was heading home by himself in Manchester city centre on June 2 last year, when he decided to use the toilets in the Arndale Centre, despite being wary of public conveniences.
This is where El Janabi grabbed him by the arm and led him away with Wilson-Fletcher following.
The court heard the boy was told: "Come with us. Do what we say. If you try to run we'll get you."
The judge said: "(The victim) did not want to accompany either of you but he felt he had no choice."
He said El Janabi knew the Debenhams toilets well and had been caught loitering there in the past by shop staff who had ejected him from the store.
El Janabi was the one who physically raped the teenager, the court was told, but Wilson-Fletcher was convicted of taking part in a joint enterprise.
Judge Leeming told Wilson-Fletcher he was "at least a look-out" and encouraged the other defendant.
He said he did not see any distinction between the two men in terms of setting an appropriate prison term.
The court heard the boy was terrified that the pair would follow him once he broke free from them and he walked six and a half miles to a friend's house because he was too scared to get on a bus.
The judge also said he had read an impact statement from the young victim which described how he took an overdose of pills and alcohol a few months after the attack which was a "cry for help".
He said the teenager, who is now 15, suffers from depression and panic attacks and has difficulty sleeping.
Neither of the defendants have any previous convictions and the judge described them as being, otherwise, "mature, intelligent men".
He said El Janabi had previously fled from Iraq but was now a British citizen. He said he fought in the Iraqi army in both the Iran-Iraq War and the first Gulf War.