A “PREDATORY” paedophile jailed for the horrendous abuse of a ten-year-old girl during the 1980s – his third conviction for child sex offences – has failed to win a cut in his sentence.
Sick Sandy Cosburn, aged 59, left his victim profoundly affected for years after holding down her dungarees and molesting her, having cornered her in a toilet.
Predatory Plymouth paedophile Sandy Cosburn fails to cut sentence
The sex offender was handed 43 months’ imprisonment after he admitted indecent assault after the start of his trial at Plymouth Crown Court in May last year.
Three top judges at London’s Appeal Court have now rejected a sentence challenge by Cosburn, saying his punishment had to reflect “the harm done to his victim”.
Mr Justice Simon said Cosburn carried out the attack almost three decades ago, while in his twenties, having lured the girl and other children to his Devonport home on the pretense of showing them his animals.
The girl went to the bathroom and removed her dungarees to go to the toilet when she noticed there was no lock on the door.
“Within a few seconds she could see through the frosted glass plate that someone was standing behind the door. She saw the handle start to move,” the appeal judge added.
Cosburn molested her for several minutes and then thanked her and called her a “good girl”.
The victim kept the abuse a secret for years but eventually told police in 2011.
“One does not have to imagine the effect of this assault on the victim,” the appeal judge said. “She has described in eloquent terms the long-term effect it has had on her.”
Cosburn, whose address was given as Kitter Drive, Staddiscombe, at an earlier court appearance, previously served two months for a similar assault on a young girl after appearing at the magistrates’ court in 1986. In 2005, he admitted sexually assaulting yet another girl in the 1980s and was jailed for three years.
Jailing him last year, Judge Francis Gilbert QC said Cosburn could have admitted the latest offence when receiving either of his previous sentences but chose to keep it quiet.
On appeal, Jo Martin, for Cosburn, today argued the sentence failed to reflect that this assault was part of an ongoing course of offending in the 1980s, for which he had already been substantially punished.
But Mr Justice Simon, sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Mrs Justice Carr, said Cosburn had, at the first sentencing hearing, unjustly received credit for his good character when he was, in fact, a “practising, predatory paedophile”.
He concluded: “Here, the sentencing judge plainly had in mind the sentences for the earlier offending.
“The issue before the court is whether the sentence of 43 months was manifestly excessive in light of the earlier sentences.
“Despite the eloquent submissions of Ms Martin, our view is that it was not. Indeed, any significant reduction would not take a full account of the culpability of Cosburn and the harm that was done to his victim.
“Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.”
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