Appeal is refused for child abuser

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AN ATTEMPT to overturn a 13-year jail term has ended in failure for a paedophile who was convicted last year.

Jonathan O’Brien, 57, was jailed at Chichester Crown Court last May after a five-week trial at the end of 2013.

He lived in Fairfield Road, Bosham, and was convicted of 15 charges of indecent assaults on children aged between 10 and 15.

The offences took place in the 1980s when he worked as a teacher in Worcestershire and Oxfordshire.

Three senior judges at the Court of Appeal, in London, rejected a challenge to his sentence, which his lawyer argued was ‘manifestly excessive’.

Mrs Justice Swift, sitting with Lord Justice Pitchford and Judge Paul Batty QC, said: ‘We consider the judge was right to say that a graver abuse of trust is difficult to imagine.

‘The total sentence is indeed very substantial, but rightly so, we consider, given the particular circumstances of this case.

‘We’re satisfied that the total sentence of 13 years reflects the seriousness of these offences and cannot be regarded as manifestly excessive.’

Mrs Justice Swift said O’Brien taught at the private Winterfold House School, near Kidderminster, and would sexually abuse pupils in a photographic darkroom.

The appeal judge said O’Brien would exploit the loneliness of some pupils. His crimes came to light in 2013.