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Child sex offender’s sentence cut in half
12:10pm Friday 18th October 2013 in News
A SWINDON man who was jailed for a string of sex offences against young girls when he was a child himself has seen his “manifestly excessive” prison sentence slashed in half by top judges.
Matthew Francis Gordon Shaw, 28, formerly of Denbeck Wood, East-leaze, abused the girls when he was a teenager, but was not prosecuted until more than a decade later when the offences came to light.
In May, following his admission to eight counts of indecent assault, he was jailed for three years at Swindon Crown Court.
But yesterday, after an appeal by his lawyers, the sentence was cut to 18 months by two senior judges, paving the way for his automatic release on licence after serving only nine months in prison.
Mr Justice Burnett, sitting with Mr Justice Bean, told the Court of Appeal in London that Shaw had molested three girls of ages between four and 12.
“The victim impact statements provide descriptions of just how damaging offending of this sort is to children,” he said.
“That damage resonates through childhood and into adult life.”
After he was finally charged, Shaw was said to have minimised his actions, but showed genuine remorse. He had suffered a troubled childhood, having been bullied and subjected to physical violence.
His lawyers argued on appeal that the three-year sentence was much too tough and should be reduced.
Mr Justice Burnett said: “These were serious offences. We agree with the judge that, in all the circumstances of this case, an immediate custodial sentence was inevitable.
“However, our conclusion is that the starting point and resulting sentence imposed by the judge in this case was too long.
“In the result, our conclusion is that the sentence should have been one of 18 months’ imprisonment, rather than three years.”