Appeal court judges rule Smethwick paedophile’s extended licence term is too long
A dangerous paedophile who molested a five-year-old girl and three other youngsters all aged under 13 has won a three year cut in his sentence.
Gordon Grimes also had a stash of child pornography found during police investigations.
The 42-year-old, of Cape Hill, Smethwick, was handed a 12-year extended sentence – made up of a four-year jail term and eight years on extended licence – at Wolverhampton Crown Court in February after admitting four counts of sexual assault.
But his overall sentence was cut to nine years by judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court last week.
The judges ruled that, while the custodial term was justified, the extended licence period was ‘too long’ and should be reduced to five years.
Grimes caused ‘huge turmoil’ to the girls he molested and their families.
Police began investigating him after one of his victims told her mother that he had ‘played a tickling game’ with her.
Upon his arrest, police unearthed his haul of child pornography from computer equipment.
He was handed a three-year community order in June last year after admitting five charges of making indecent images of children.
Grimes initially denied any wrongdoing in relation to his four victims, but he eventually admitted his guilt on the day he was set to stand trial.
A probation officer reported his ‘contemptuous attitude’ to women and said he had undoubtedly caused significant harm to his victims.
Mr Justice Irwin told the court that victim impact statements from the children and their families outlined the damage, anxiety and loss of confidence caused by Grimes’ offending.
The judge added: “It has affected their lives profoundly, despite the lack of any physical harm, and is an object lesson in the seriousness of the consequences of such offending.”
Grimes’ lawyers argued his sentence was over the top, saying there was not enough evidence that he posed a danger to the public and that both the custodial and licence portions of his sentence were too long.
The Appeal Court judges rejected his arguments against the crown court judge’s finding Grimes was ‘dangerous’ and the length of the custodial term – saying it was ‘severe but not excessive’.
But, allowing the appeal, Mr Justice Irwin said the extended licence period of eight years imposed by the judge should be reduced to five years.
Sitting with Lord Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Cranston, he added: “We do think the judge was correct to impose an extension, but eight years was too long.”
The effect of the new sentence is that Grimes will be released part-way through his four-year jail term and will serve the remainder, plus another five years, on licence, during which time he will be under strict supervision by the probation service and face recall to prison if he breaks the terms of his licence.