A ‘CYNICALLY sadistic’ thug who got his sick kicks from dripping hot plastic on the skin of a teenage girl has had his sentence cut by a third by top judges in London.
John Francis O’Halloran, aged 20, also kicked, slapped and burnt the 16-year-old in a series of attacks last year.
Afterward he taunted her as a cry baby as she lay hurt.
O’Halloran, of Abbeyfield Road, Pitsmoor, Sheffield, was jailed for three years at Leeds Crown Court in March.
He admitted three offences of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one of common assault.
But two senior judges, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, have now cut his prison sentence to two years after they ruled the injuries O’Halloran caused to the girl were not permanent or serious enough to warrant a longer term.
Judge Michael Baker QC told the court O’Halloran first attacked the girl late last year, when he pushed shaving foam into her eyes, causing them to sting.
Days later he heated up plastic so it melted, before dropping it onto her skin.
The attacks then escalated and became even more violent, with O’Halloran slapping and kicking the girl, causing bruising to her leg, the judge said.
O’Halloran called his victim a big baby when she complained about one of the assaults.
After another of his assaults he told the girl she was a cry baby.
The girl eventually told her mother about the attacks and O’Halloran, who had a number of previous convictions for offences including battery and criminal damage, was arrested.
The sentencing judge, who heard crime had been part of O’Halloran’s life since childhood, branded the crimes cynically sadistic.
But lawyers for O’Halloran – who has since become a father to a young child of his own – said those comments exaggerated the seriousness of the offences.
They argued the resulting three-year prison stretch was too long.
Judge Baker, sitting with Mr Justice Cranston, said the three-year term was manifestly excesssive considering the injuries caused to the girl were not permanent or “particularly grave”.
He told the court: “We can understand the judge’s reference to sadism.
“The appellant did appear to gain some pleasure from his actions.
“But these offences were still of a relatively minor nature in terms of harm caused, moreover they did not involve the use of a weapon.”
The judges cut the prison term to two years, meaning O’Halloran will be eligible for automatic release after one year inside.