Law change plea after rapist jailed

Kenneth Mark Shirley has been handed another 16 life prison sentences on top of the seven he is already serving

Kenneth Mark Shirley has been handed another 16 life prison sentences on top of the seven he is already serving

First published in National News © by

A victim of a murderer and serial rapist has demanded changes in the law following the jailing of her attacker for an identical knifepoint sex attack.

Kenneth Mark Shirley, 42, was told by a judge he would probably die in prison for the sadistic rape and assault of a woman in her own home seven years ago.

Mr Justice Astill handed Shirley another 16 life sentences on top of the seven he is already serving for the rape of Helen Stockford in 2009 and the murder of Mary Wainwright in 1987. He was only walking the streets because he had been released from prison on licence three times by the Parole Board.

Avon and Somerset Probation Trust defended its management of Shirley and said it had been of a "good standard", that he had not posed "an increased level of risk" and there was no suggestion it could have done anything to prevent him re-offending.

But Mrs Stockford, who gave up her anonymity in 2009, said "strong lessons" needed to be learnt by the authorities who repeatedly freed him.

"Again Shirley has shown that he is a highly dangerous individual who has total disregard for the terms of his life licence," she said. "He's already broken it three times and now a fourth with this current case. Mistakes have been made all along the way with the handling of Shirley. I believe strong lessons need to be learnt. I believe the justice system in this country needs a complete overhaul particularly with respect to victims of rape and that's what I've been campaigning for for three long years."

The mother-of-five said she wanted to meet both Prime Minister David Cameron and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling because "strong changes" needed to be made.

Police praised the bravery of the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in telling officers what Shirley had done to her. Ms Kells also urged any person who has been the victim of a sex crime - whether historic or recent - to tell the police.

Shirley was found guilty of four rapes, 12 assaults by penetration and a single charge of wounding by a jury at Bristol Crown Court today.

The judge told Shirley, who is known by his middle name, that he would serve a minimum term of 16 years imprisonment but would probably never be released.

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