Sunderland dad locked up for incest with estranged daughter has jail term cut
A Sunderland dad who was jailed for having sex with his estranged daughter when they met for the first time since she became an adult has had his jail term slashed by appeal judges.
The pensioner, who cannot be identified, slept with the woman after a heavy drinking session when she managed to track him down.
The man, who is in his 60s, pleaded guilty to incest at Newcastle Crown Court and was jailed for 14 months in September.
But on Wednesday, after a challenge at the Court of Appeal in London, three senior judges slashed the dad's sentence to eight months.
Judge David Aubrey, sitting with Lord Justice Flaux and Sir John Royce, said 14 months was a "manifestly excessive" punishment.
The court heard the man had become estranged from his wife and child following the breakdown of their marriage.
His daughter was still a small child at the time and it was not until she became an adult that she finally tracked him down.
She travelled to Sunderland, where she spent a night drinking in a pub with her long-lost father.
But after going back to his home and climbing into the same bed, they engaged in sexual activity.
They stayed in contact for some time afterwards although the daughter was said to be "confused and unhappy" about what had happened.
She eventually went to police and, although the father was initially accused of rape and indecent assault, he pleaded guilty to incest.
His lawyers have now argued that the sentence he received was too tough and that it should have been suspended to allow him to be freed.
Ruling on the appeal, Judge Aubrey said: "There is force in the submission that, looking at this case in the round, the sentence of 14 months' imprisonment was manifestly excessive.
"We don't accede to the submission that the sentence of imprisonment could be suspended.
"In our judgment, the appropriate punishment for this offence could only be achieved by immediate custody."