Lechlade pensioner who abused young girls in Swindon has sentence reduced
8:00am Saturday 16th March 2013 in News
A PENSIONER who sexually abused two young girls has had his jail term cut by two years and eight months because of a mistake in sentencing.
John Curley had been given two four-year prison sentences to run consecutively for offences committed in the 1970s and from 2000-2008 in Swindon.
This week Judge Douglas Field, at Swindon crown court, was told that because the 72-year-old, formerly of Canon Drive, Lechlade, had faced one 'multi incident' charge, relating to the earlier offences, a judge was restricted in the sentence he could pass.
At the time of offending the maximum sentence was only two years, so despite admitting repeated offending against the young victim, the court's sentencing powers were tied.
Prosecutor Claire Marlow said the problem arose because of the change in sentencing powers over the years but that if he had been charged differently the situation would not have arisen.
She said the court could not go beyond the maximum two years and must also give Curley a discount for pleading guilty.
Judge Field cut the first four-year jail term to 16 months.
Curley was caught after a girl, now in her late teens, told police how he had been inappropriately touching her for eight years, starting when she was four-years-old. After speaking out, a second victim came forward and reported assaults throughout the 1970s which started when she was eight.
Curley admitted two counts of indecent assault and one of sexual activity with a child.
He will serve half the sentence behind bars and will have to register as a sex offender on his release.