OAP who preyed on girl appeals against sentence

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A PAEDOPHILE in his 70s who preyed on an eight-year-old girl has had his jail term slashed on appeal by top judges.

Perverted pensioner John Horsman, 71, forced the girl to fondle him after luring her into a building.

The court was told he had locked the door behind her when the offence took place.

He was jailed for five years at Sheffield Crown Court last November after pleading guilty to causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

But the prison term has now been reduced to three-and-a-half years after lawyers for Horsman, of Oak Lea, Greasbrough, Rotherham, said he was in poor health and pleaded his advanced age in mitigation.

Condemning the offence, Mr Justice Stadlen told London’s Criminal Appeal Court: “There were seriously aggravating factors in this case, including the youth of the complainant and Horsman’s attempts to disguise the offence.”

But, allowing the appeal, he concluded: “Given his age and the circumstances of the offence, the appropriate sentence after a trial would have been one of four years.

“Given his late guilty plea we think the appropriate sentence would be one of three and a half years.”