A man convicted of raping a grandmother in an east Belfast car park has won an appeal against his nine-year sentence.
Senior judges reduced Lucasz Artur Kubik’s term by two years – half to be spent in jail and half on licence – after finding no evidence the attack involved gratuitous violence.
Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan also held there was nothing to show the 31-year-old posed a significant risk of inflicting serious harm from similar offending.
He said: “There was no material to indicate that this was other than a single impulsive act.”
Kubik, who is originally from Poland, returned to the Court of Appeal to challenge his sentence after failing in an earlier bid to overturn his conviction.
He had been handed a nine-year term after being found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting the 52-year-old victim in January 2013.
The woman told of being attacked as she made her way home from a relative’s house in the early hours of the morning.
She had gone to a taxi depot in east Belfast, but it was closed.
At that stage she spoke to a group of women and Kubik, who claimed to be a French man named Chris.
With no credit on her phone, the victim agreed to go to their house to call for a lift home.
She said that as they walked the other women disappeared after Kubik shouted something to them in a foreign language.
He then asked if she wanted to work for him, adding: “I’ll show you.”
At that stage he raped and molested her against a parked car, the court heard.
Although she repeatedly told him she was a grandmother he was said to have persisted with the sex attack before eventually running off.
Following his arrest Kubik, who has lived in Northern Ireland since 2006, denied any sexual contact with the victim.
He then changed his account to allege the pair’s encounter had been consensual, claiming he had not wanted his girlfriend to discover he had cheated on her.
Ruling on his appeal against the sentence, Sir Declan accepted the attack involved violence, but not a gratuitous type.
Turning to the issue of dangerousness, the Lord Chief Justice held that Kubik’s actions were driven by alcohol and opportunism, rather than premeditation.
“Rape is a very serious offence,” he said.
“It does not follow, however, that every perpetrator represents a significant risk of serious harm by the commission of similar offences.
“We consider that it has not been demonstrated in this case that there is a significant risk of serious harm from similar offending.”
On that basis the court imposed a new seven-year sentence, split between three and a half years in custody and the same period on licence.