A PERVERT who was jailed indefinitely for a string of child sex offences has been freed from prison when top judges overturned his potentially lifelong sentence.
James Camier, 58, of Cookson Gardens, was sentenced to indefinite imprisonment for public protection (IPP) after he was convicted at Maidstone Crown Court in August 2007.
Almost identical to a life term, the IPP sentence meant Camier would only be freed when considered safe by the parole board and could spend the rest of his life in prison.
But on Tuesday, three top judges at the Court of Appeal said it was wrong to impose the IPP sentence and gave him a six-year term, which will allow him immediately to be set free as he would only have to serve half in prison.
The pervert, who continues to deny any wrongdoing, was found guilty of three sexual assaults, causing a child to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sexual act.
The girl, who had not even reached her teens, said he touched her private parts with his fingers, tongue and penis, made her masturbate him and showed her pornography.
Sentencing him, the crown court judge said he considered that Camier posed a “significant” risk of causing “serious” harm in the future and would have to receive the open-ended term.
But today, his lawyers argued that the judge was “wrong in law” in considering that an IPP could be imposed and that there was not sufficient evidence to justify the finding that he is “dangerous”.
Allowing the appeal, Judge Anthony Scott-Gall, sitting today with Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Maddison, agreed that the IPP sentence should not have been imposed.
And the judge had made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and banned Camier from working with youngsters, giving extra protection against any future offending, he said.
“We allow this appeal and quash the sentences imposed and leave the determinate sentence as imposed,” the appeal judge concluded.
Under sentencing rules, Camier would be eligible for release on licence after serving half of his six-year sentence, meaning he could walk free this week.