THE prison sentence handed to the man who raped a woman in Bournemouth's Lower Gardens has been put forward for a potential extension due to a belief that it was "unduly lenient".

Luke West violently attacked and beat the 40-year-old cleaner as she was walking to work on November 13 last year.

A trial at Winchester Crown Court last month heard how the victim thought she was going to die during the incident, which took place at around 5am.

On June 16, West, aged 29, from Southampton, was jailed for 16 years with a licence extension of six years after being found guilty of rape and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent following the 11-day trial.

A request has been made to the Attorney General's Office for his sentence to be reviewed under the unduly lenient sentence system, which only applies to crown court sentences for a selection of crimes, including rape.

Once the case has been reviewed it could be sent to the Court of Appeal. If this does take place, a decision will then be taken on whether the sentence should stay the same, is unreasonably low and may increase, or the court may refuse to hear the case.

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A conclusion on whether the case should go to the Court of Appeal must take place within 28 days of sentencing, meaning staff in the Attorney General's Office must complete this process by Tuesday, July 14.

In a statement after the trial, Detective Inspector Wayne Seymour, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), said: “This was a despicable offence, which saw Luke West subject his victim not only to a terrifying sexual attack but also a brutal physical assault.

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“While it can be of little consolation to the victim in this case, thankfully incidents of this nature are extremely rare in this area and I am grateful to all the officers and police staff who worked tirelessly on this investigation so that we were able to swiftly identify West as the suspect and apprehend him."

Jurors took just three hours to convict West after hearing the harrowing experience his victim went through.

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The woman suffered bruising and cuts to her face with injuries to her jaw and a fractured eye socket.

Prosecuting Robert Bryan told the trial that a search by police of the hotel room where West was staying found a pair of black jeans and a jacket stained with blood which had a DNA match with the victim.

He added that intimate swabs taken from the victim had a DNA match that was a billion times more likely to have come from the defendant than another male.

When in the dock, West had claimed police "100 per cent" had the wrong man for the crime.