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Jail Term Of Isle Of Wight Child Rapist "Too Lenient" - Case Referred To Court Of Appeal

A convicted Isle of Wight paedophile could be set for a longer stint behind bars after the Attorney General deemed his life sentence "unduly lenient".

The case of Jonathan Maertens, of Richmond Meade, Freshwater, has been referred to the Court of Appeal. A judge will decide whether to increase his sentence.

The 35-year-old was jailed for life  in November, with a minimum of 16 years before he can be considered for parole.

He admitted a number of child sex offences at the Isle of Wight Crown Court, which included rape and sexual assaults against nine victims.

Mr Maertens was found to have made more than 200,000 indecent images of children. He also recorded footage of himself sexually abusing female children aged between 4 and 17.

Police say his actions caused "unfathomable damage" to his victims. 

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office said: 

“The Solicitor General was shocked by the seriousness of these offences and wishes to express his deepest sympathies to the victims.

"I can confirm that the Solicitor has referred the sentence of Jonathan Maertens to the Court of Appeal as he considered it to be unduly lenient. It is now for the court to decide whether to increase the sentence.”

Altogether, Maertens pleaded guilty to 34 separate indictments:

•             10 multiple incident counts of rape of a child under 13

•             Three counts including two multiple incident counts of assault of a child under 13 by penetration

•             Five counts of sexual assault of a child under 13

•             Three counts including one multiple incident count of rape of a child

•             Two multiple incident counts of assault by penetration of a child

•             Three counts of sexual assault of a child

•             Three counts of taking indecent photographs of a child

•             One count of making indecent photographs of a child

•             Three counts including two multiple incident counts of administering a substance with intent

•             One count of possessing a paedophile manual 

Speaking after his conviction, DI Toby Elcock, of Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Team, said:

“Jonathan Maertens manipulated situations to facilitate access to children, including in some cases stupefying them, before recording his abuse.

“His actions have caused unfathomable damage to the girls and their families and I hope that this sentence can provide them with the justice they deserve.  Services will continue to support these children and their families so that they can start to move on with their lives.  

"Our investigation has also sought to safeguard other children that may have been in contact with Meartens.  I am therefore appealing to anyone who has concerns about their previous contact with him or has any wider concerns to contact Hampshire Police quoting Operation Foundry.

“This sentence reflects the severity of these crimes and we would encourage anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse to report this to the police."

A date for Mr Maertens' hearing has not yet been set.

Anyone who has been a victim of child abuse, or has any information about this type of abuse, is encouraged to contact police on 101.

Alternatively, contact Child Line on 0800 11 11, or if you are an adult who has been affected, you can call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000

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