The news that rapist Robert Foye has had his minimum term halved by appeal judges has sparked a furious reaction from a local MSP.
Foye (32) raped a 16-year-old schoolgirl in woods in Cumbernauld in 2007, while on the run from Castle Huntly open prison where he was serving time for attempting to kill a police officer.
Foye had originally been ordered to serve at least nine years for the “sickening and evil” rape of the schoolgirl.
But appeal judges ruled there had been a technical error in the sentencing and halved the term, meaning Foye can now make an application for release after four-and-a-half years.
List MSP Mark Griffin hit out: “I am shocked and angered by this decision.
“Robert Foye’s wicked and senseless attack, which he carried out after absconding from open prison, should have seen him locked up for longer than the four-and-a-half years that he could now serve.
“Under the original sentence Foye would have been behind bars until at least 2018 – now he could be free to roam the streets again by 2013.”
Mr Griffin added: “This is a disgraceful decision that will leave many disgusted at the criminal justice system.”
The SNP’s Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill has vowed to bring forward “necessary changes to the law” to address issues raised in the appeals judgment.
However one of the appeal judges, Lord Osborne, pointed out that an Order for Lifelong Restriction had been imposed on Foye, and he could only be freed if the parole board was satisfied he no longer posed a threat to the public.
Even if he is released, the Order means he will continue to be strictly supervised.
But Scottish Labour’s Justice spokeswoman, Johann Lamont, said: “I cannot begin to imagine how difficult this decision must be for the victim and her family to bear.”