A RAPIST jailed for a sickening campaign of child sex abuse committed while he was a teenager has had his 11-year prison term slashed by an appeal judge.
Derek Storey, of Westheath Avenue, Sunderland, abused three girls and a boy in the 1970s, but it took three decades to bring him to justice.
Storey, now 51, was no older than 17 himself at the time.
Last August, he was jailed for 11 years at Newcastle Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to rape and 12 indecent assaults on the morning of a planned trial, with all four victims ready to give evidence.
But now, after an appeal by his lawyers, three judges at the Court of Appeal in London have slashed his sentence to eight years.
Sir John Griffith Williams, sitting with Lord Rupert Jackson and Judge Brian Barker, said: “We are satisfied that the sentences were, overall, manifestly excessive.”
The court heard the four victims were subjected to degrading sexual abuse on occasions in the 1970s, with Storey taking one young girl’s virginity.
In victim impact statements, they told of the terrible effect his abuse had had on their lives.
“Each of the female victims, in particular, has suffered long-term effects as a consequence of the abuse to which they were subjected,” said the judge.
When he was finally sentenced, Judge David Wood reduced Storey’s punishment to reflect the fact that he was himself very young at the time.
But his lawyers argued that the sentence was still too high, particularly given the fact that he has not reoffended in more than 30 years.
Giving his judgement, Mr Justice Griffith Williams said the court had been provided with up-to-date statements from Storey’s four victims, all now adults.
“Each considers that there should be no reduction in sentence in this case,” he said.
“While we are mindful of their views, they should understand that this court’s function is to apply sentencing guidelines and to apply the applicable law in the case.”
Newcastle Crown Court was told last year how the abuse came to light when one of the victims referred to Storey as a “dirty pervert” in a Facebook conversation.
Eventually, all four came forward.
After he was arrested in June last year, Storey claimed the allegations were all “fabricated”.