Gee a turn up for the books, a sexual predator gets his sentence increased for once on appeal…
THE three-month jail term given to a Victorian man who sexually abused teenage boys has been lengthened to four years after a higher court found the sentence to be extraordinarily lenient.
Brett Chatterton, 37, in November was sentenced to three months in jail for visiting internet chat rooms to set up meetings with teenagers, where he paid them for sex acts throughout 2012.
He pleaded guilty to using a carriage service to send indecent communications to a child, five counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16, using a carriage service to procure a child aged under 16, and possessing child porn.
He was also ordered to serve 11 months of a previous sentence for possessing and transmitting child pornography.
In sentencing Chatterton, Victorian County Court Judge Liz Gaynor was critical of the period he had to wait before undergoing a treatment program for sex offenders.
But the Court of Appeal on Tuesday upheld an appeal from the Director of Public Prosecutions, who argued Chatterton’s sentence was well short of the length required.
Justices Simon Whelan, Phillip Priest and Mark Weinberg said Chatterton had been treated with “extraordinarily leniency” because of a failure by Corrections Victoria to put him on the program.
“It is difficult to see how sentences as low as three months for any of these offences can be justified,” the judges said.
“Dissatisfaction with the past failure of the corrections authorities to provide suitable treatment cannot come close to justifying the imposition of sentences that are themselves manifestly inadequate.”
Chatterton, of Melton, was resentenced to four years’ prison, with a non-parole period of two and a half years.