Child molester loses appeal over sentence

A "POPPY", jailed for molesting his eight-year-old step-granddaughter, has lost an appeal arguing his sentence is manifestly excessive.

The step-grandfather, who cannot be named to protect the child's identity, was found guilty of indecently dealing with the girl twice while she was visiting his farm in the Warwick region during the 2010 Christmas holidays.

The girl's mother was in a relationship with the man's son but that union had since broken up.

The girl called the man her pop or poppy.

The 69-year-old father of four adult children, following the trial in February this year, was sentenced to 18 months jail, with parole eligibility after serving nine months.

His defence counsel tried to argue at the time that the appropriate sentence was 12 months, suspended after six months behind bars.

In submissions to the Court of Appeal, the man's lawyers argued the 18-month sentence, including parole, was too severe when compared to other cases.

But Justice Hugh Fraser said the comparative cases related to sentences passed before a law change raising the maximum from 14 years to 20 years imprisonment.

He added that, in this case, the man only refrained from further offending the first time because the victim's sister interrupted him, the second offence was an escalation and there was no evidence he had tried to rehabilitate himself or show remorse.

"Those circumstances amply justified the sentencing judge's conclusion that there was too little information about the likelihood of the applicant re-offending to determine that it was an appropriate case for suspension (rather than parole)," he said.

Topics:  child molestation court of appeal

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