A PAEDOPHILE who tricked a 13-year-old girl into giving him her phone number before bombarding her with sick text messages has been told he deserves every day of his “severe” prison sentence.
Derrick Finch, 58, of Claxton Road, Bexhill, was jailed for four and half years at Lewes Crown Court after he admitted arranging the commission of a child sex offence, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making indecent photographs of children.
Today, three senior judges rejected claims by Finch’s lawyers that sentence was too long and upheld the prison term.
Mr Justice Beatson told the court Finch had spoken to the girl in the street after seeing her and her friend laughing at something on their mobile phone. He gave the girl his phone number and asked her to send him the picture they were looking at.
After receiving the cartoon from the schoolgirl, Finch saved her phone number and later used it to send her lurid text messages, the court heard.
The judge said some of the 18 messages, which Finch sent under the name of “Paul”, asked about masturbation and sex.
The girl’s horrified mother found out about the texts and the police traced the number to a phone registered to Finch’s partner, the court heard.
After his arrest, police found a number of videos of child abuse on his computer, one of which was at the most depraved level as categorised by the police.
Lawyers for Finch said the judge had given him insufficient credit for his previous good character and that his sentence was too long.
But Mr Justice Beatson, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Foskett, rejected that argument and upheld Finch’s four-and-a-half-year term.
He told the court: “These were undoubtedly serious offences in which the appellant made a concerted effort to groom this 13-year-old child.
“The fact that the offence of downloading videos was entirely separate justified a consecutive sentence and there can be no criticism of the judge for only giving limited discount for a late guilty plea.
“Looking at the totality of the sentence, as this court is required to do, we consider that the overall sentence, whilst severe, is not too long.”