Hampshire & Isle of Wight

'Too lenient' paedophile sentences to be reviewed

Robert Hathaway and Melissa Noon
Image caption Robert Hathaway and Melissa Noon used the internet to discuss the abuse of children with others

Three people jailed for their part in a paedophile ring could have their sentences reviewed because they may have been "unduly lenient".

Melissa Noon and Robert Hathaway, both from Hampshire, and Simon Hilton, of north London, are to have their cases referred to the Court of Appeal.

They were convicted in December of abusing two young children and posting images and videos on the internet.

Noon is due to be released later this year, having served half her sentence.

The application to refer the cases was made by the Attorney General.

A spokesman said: "I can confirm that the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to refer the sentences of the above offenders under the unduly lenient sentence scheme."

Hilton, 29, of Wolsey Road, north London, was jailed in December for four years with an extended licence period of six years. He had pleaded guilty to 13 offences including sexual assault of a child. He was also found guilty of arranging a child sex offence.

'Horrific' case

Noon was jailed for four years but is due to be released later this year having served nearly half her sentence after spending 374 days on remand. She was found guilty of 11 charges including causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Her partner, Hathaway, received an indeterminate sentence but would be eligible for release after six years. He pleaded guilty to 45 offences including child rape.

The three were among nine paedophiles sentenced in December at Portsmouth Crown Court. They used a nudist website as a guise for their crimes.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, described the case as "horrific" and said the victims were "systematically and repeatedly" raped by Hathaway and sexually assaulted on a daily basis.

The abuse was documented with thousands of photographs and videos, some as long as 42 minutes, which were distributed by Hathaway over the internet.

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