Rezgar Nouri, 27, of Preston, and Mohammed Ibrahim, 24, of London, were jailed indeterminately after being convicted of assaulting the 24-year-old in Preston last June.
Sitting at the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Hooper, Mr Justice Silber and Mr Justice Hamblen heard how the men ‘came across’ the woman before taking her to a flat where Ibrahim pinned her down while another man raped her.
After that, Ibrahim raped her before Nouri ‘grabbed’ her and ‘dragged’ her into a bedroom where he raped her, judges were told.
But today, despite the evidence, they ruled at the Royal Courts of Justice there was ‘insufficient evidence’ that Nouri and Ibrahim should be defined as ‘dangerous’.
They said Judge Anthony Russell QC had been wrong to decide that ‘imprisonment for public protection’ was necessary and hand down a jail sentence which gave the men no automatic right of release.
They allowed the men’s appeal against the imposition of an indeterminate sentence and instead handed each a 12-year term.
The court earlier heard how the woman had become separated from friends – when she was ‘quite drunk’ – in the early hours after visiting a number of bars and clubs, the court heard.
The judges were told that she ‘came across’ Nouri, Ibrahim and a third man in the town centre and went to Nouri’s nearby flat with them.
Her next recollection was of waking up naked with the three men nearby before the horrific ordeal began.
When it was over the woman left the flat before realising that she had left her phone behind. She was allowed back in.
Nouri then pinned her down and raped her again before ‘pushing’ her out of the flat, judges heard.
Judges said the woman was found in a ‘very distressed state’ shortly after she left the flat and police were called.
Mr Justice Hamblen said that before ‘imprisonment for the public protection’ could be imposed, courts had to be satisfied that there was a ‘significant risk’ to the public of serious harm through the ‘commission of further specified offences’.
He added: ‘There was insufficient evidence to justify the finding of dangerousness made and an imprisonment for public protection should not therefore have been imposed.’
Both men admitted rape at Preston Crown Court in November 2011.