Tyne & Wear

Greggs bakery heir Colin Gregg has abuse sentence cut

Colin Gregg Image copyright Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Image caption Colin Gregg had described the accusations as "evil lies"

The heir to the Greggs bakery chain has had his jail term for sexually abusing young boys cut by five years.

Colin Gregg was jailed for 13 and a half years in March for indecently assaulting four boys aged between 10 and 14 over three decades.

The 76-year-old, from Newcastle, lost a bid to have his convictions overturned at London's Court of Appeal.

But senior judges said his prison term, imposed at Newcastle Crown Court, was too long and should be reduced.

The original trial heard Gregg, who helped build up the family business and was also a social worker and teacher, was a "predatory paedophile" who abused his position of trust.

Swimming pool

Trial judge Robin Mairs described him as "charismatic, inspiring teacher and mentor" who used those attributes to groom young boys.

The assaults began in 1963 and continued over a period of almost 30 years, during which Gregg was a teacher.

He abused one child in a swimming pool and others were molested in a gym, his study or a car.

Sasha Wass QC, representing him at the Appeal Court, argued his sentence was excessive in light of the fact his offending was not in the most serious category.

Lord Justice Davis, sitting with Mrs Justice Nicola Davies and Judge Nicholas Dean QC, said the appeal against sentence must be allowed.

He said: "Having reflected upon the matter, the view of this court is that a total sentence of eight-and-a-half years is appropriate for this offending and for this offender."

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