Multiple child rapist jailed for longer

A serial sex offender has had his sentence increased following intervention by the then Solicitor General, Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP.

Jonathan Maertens, 35, pleaded guilty to 34 child sexual offences as well as to possessing hundreds of thousands of indecent images of children and a ‘paedophile manual’. Over the course of nearly a decade of offending, Maertens filmed himself drugging and abusing his victims.

On 23 November 2020, Maertens was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 16 years’ imprisonment at Newport Crown Court.

Following a referral to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme by the Solicitor General, on 19 March 2021 the Court found the sentence to be unduly lenient and increased the minimum term of imprisonment to 25 years.

After the hearing at the Court of Appeal, the now Attorney General, Rt Hon Michael Ellis QC MP, said:

Maertens’ crimes were shocking and despicable. I am pleased that the Court of Appeal saw fit to increase his sentence, and I hope this will bring some comfort to his victims and their families.

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