Judge halves pervert’s sentence

Mr Justice Michael Supperstone

Mr Justice Michael Supperstone

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A SERIAL pervert jailed for fondling a schoolgirl as her mother chatted with a friend had his sentence slashed by top judges today.

Garry Christopher Small, 52, of Pleasant Street, Blackpool, was jailed for two years at Preston Crown Court in January after he was convicted of sexually assaulting the 10-year-old.

He was also sentenced to another three years on licence in the community.

Mr Justice Supperstone, sitting with Lord Justice Hughes and Mr Justice Maddison at London’s Appeal Court today, said Small had already clocked up three convictions for sex acts before his latest offence.

His past record included convictions for indecent assault dating back to the 1980s, said the judge.

His most recent sex crime came last summer when he “furtively fondled and squeezed a schoolgirl’s rear” as her mother talked with a friend.

Small’s lawyers challenged his sentence with claims the crown court judge was wrong to assess him as a dangerous offender from who the public needed protection.

But Mr Justice Supperstone said the assessment was fair and confirmed the three-year extended licence period, during which Small will be closely monitored in the community after his release and recalled to prison if he puts a foot wrong.

“At the time of this offence he was on licence from a prison sentence for a sexual offence,” the judge pointed out.

However, Mr Justice Supperstone went on to conclude the two-year prison term was excessive, halving it to 12 months.