A man who indecently recorded and sexually abused up to 75 children in the toy section of department stores has had his jail term cut.
In a case described by the sentencing judge as “every parents’ worst nightmare”, Peter Anthony Lewsam deliberately went to the toy section to target girls aged between two and 10, reports ABC NEWS.
He was originally sentenced to 16-and-a-half years’ jail, but today in a unanimous decision the Court of Appeal reduced the term to 12 years.
Lewsam had argued the term was “crushingly heavy”, and did not give him “a proper measure of hope for, and encouragement to, rehabilitation and reform”.
The appeal was allowed after the Director of Public Prosecutions accepted the original term “failed to bear a proper relationship to the overall criminality involved in all of the offences”.
In his ruling, Justice Robert Mitchell said while the offences involved “a very serious course of criminal conduct”, the 16-and-a-half-year term “exceeded sentences customarily imposed in even the most serious cases”.
Lewsam had pleaded guilty last year to more than 120 charges including indecently recording a child under 16, and sexual penetration of a child.
He recorded the abuse on his mobile phone while in some instances the child was with a sibling, or their parents were in the next aisle.
Only one of his victims was identified because her father interrupted Lewsam and he was subsequently arrested.
Lewsam will have to serve 10 years before he can be released.
With time already served his earliest release date is in 2025.
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