Paedophiles win appeal over length of jail time

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Two South Yorkshire paedophiles jailed for life after admitting sex offences against young boys have had their sentences slashed on appeal.

HIV-positive travelling salesman Anthony Marsh abused boys across the north of England after grooming them online.

Unemployed Lee Davis, aged 40, Marsh’s accomplice, was also a ‘predatory paedophile’ who raped one child and abused numerous others.

Marsh, of Menson Drive, Hatfield, Doncaster, and Davis, of Rowena Road, Conisborough, Doncaster, were jailed for life at Sheffield Crown Court last year.

However, top judges sitting at London’s Appeal Court today slashed the terms, saying Marsh’s was unlawful and Davis was not given enough credit for pleading guilty.

Lady Justice Rafferty, Mr Justice Holroyde and Mrs Justice Andrews replaced Marsh’s life term with a 12-year sentence, while Davis’ minimum jail term was cut from 12-and-a-half to eight years.

The court heard the pair – both married with children – led sick double lives as paedophiles, using social networks, as well as specialist gay websites, to befriend boys.

After grooming teenagers as young as 13 online, they met their victims and sexually abused them, filming what they were doing.

Lady Justice Rafferty said: “Marsh was HIV positive. His wife did not know. Nor did he use protection and, with many complainants, did not explain his position. Their purpose was to find the youngest possible boy and have sex with him. Usually they passed victims between themselves, boasting about it on the internet.

“Each boasted they wanted the child to be as young as possible at a time when each was married with children. Both were predatory dangerous paedophiles.”

For more, see The Star in Doncaster tomorrow.