Nottingham

Retford child abusers get sentence increase at Court of Appeal

John Smith (l) and Derek Dobson Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption John Smith (l) and Derek Dobson both admitted a series of assaults and attacks

A man convicted of serious sexual offences against children has had his jail term increased nine-fold by the Court of Appeal.

Derek Dobson, 80, of Town Street, Retford, saw his six-month jail term raised to four-and-a-half years.

And John Smith, 71, of West Hill Road, Retford, had his five-and-a-half year sentence increased to 12 years.

The Solicitor General, Robert Buckland QC, referred both cases shortly after the men were sentenced in August.

Dobson had admitted five counts of indecent assault while Smith admitted rape, sexual assault on a child under 13, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sexual act.

At the Court of Appeal, Lady Justice Sharp said the two men's ages and good character "weighed far too heavily in the scale of [the trial judge's] consideration".

And the credit given for their guilty pleas "was far too generous".

'Devastating impacts'

"The sentences passed on both defendants were unduly lenient," ruled Lady Justice Sharp.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Buckland said: "I am pleased the Court of Appeal has recognised that the original sentences handed down were just not adequate for the gravity of the crimes committed.

"These two men attacked their victims over a number of years and the abuse led to long-lasting devastating impacts.

"I'm delighted the sentences have been dramatically increased to reflect the severity of the offences."

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