Bridgwater paedophile to be released within days as sentence is slashed
A CONVICTED Bridgwater paedophile who was jailed after befriending a 14-year-old boy and his family will be free within days after top judges at the Court of Appeal slashed his prison sentence.
Adrian Harold Day, 67, of Halesleigh Road, was jailed in 2002 for a string of child sex crimes and, after release, was obliged to inform police if he regularly stayed at any address other than his own.
Despite that, he failed to tell anyone he had struck up a friendship with the boy's family and sometimes stayed at their house, in breach of the requirement to notify additional addresses.
The revelation horrified the boy's mother, who only learned of Day's history via the internet.
He pleaded guilty at Taunton Crown Court and was jailed for 14 months in May - but last week his sentence was cut to only eight months, of which he must serve just half before release on licence.
Mr Justice Holroyde told the Court of Appeal that Day's offence of failing to comply with notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act was serious because it was deliberately done.
He was originally jailed for three years in February 2002 for four counts of indecent assault, one of inciting a child to commit gross indecency and four of making indecent photos of a child.
However, Day managed to stay out of trouble for almost a decade after his release before striking up a friendship with the boy's family, staying at their house on several occasions.
His history came to light when the boy's family found references on the internet and police were informed. However, there was no suggestion he ever offended against the 14-year-old, said the judge.
Day's lawyers today argued that, despite the serious aspects of the crime, there were several mitigating circumstances which should be taken into account, justifying a lesser sentence.
He had lived a law-abiding life for years before getting to know the family, there was no evidence he sought them out in order to get to a child and no suggestion that the boy had been harmed.
Giving judgment, Mr Justice Holroyde said: "Having regard to both the aggravating and mitigating features, we accept the submission that the judge took too high a starting point and the sentence was manifestly excessive."
As Day has served almost half of his now eight-month sentence, he will be eligible for release within days.