A SEX predator, locked up for seducing a schoolgirl and downloading child porn, has had his “unduly lenient” jail term more than doubled by appeal judges.
Christopher Hayward, 28, was twice the age of his teenage victim when he took her virginity, the Court of Appeal heard, continuing to have unprotected sex with her on “eight or nine occasions” in 2010.
He received a sentence of two years and two months from Judge John Dixon at Winchester Crown Court last July, after he was convicted of three counts of sexual activity with a child.
The case came before the appeal court as lawyers for the Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve QC, urged top judges to increase the sentence.
Reviewing the case, Lord Justice Toulson said Hayward, of Holyrood Court, Buckskin, Basingstoke, coaxed the 13-year-old into woods, where the pair engaged in sex sessions.
The police were finally tipped off after the girl's friends became “concerned and suspicious”. She briefly ran away from home, but was finally persuaded to return and disclose the affair.
When Hayward’s then home, in Falkland Road, Popley, was searched, officers discovered 5,000 indecent images of teenage girls on his computer, the court heard.
Hayward admitted making and possessing indecent images of children – although the prosecution accepted he had “accidentally” downloaded the material, the judge said.
The Gazette reported how Adrian Fleming, defending Hayward, said the 13-year-old victim was “a willing participant ” and “old beyond her years”.
Lord Justice Toulson, sitting with Mr Justice Langstaff and Judge Anthony Morris QC, said the crown court judge took too much account of the teenage victim’s views when passing sentence. “There was no justification for a sentence below four years,” he told the court.
The Appeal Court upped Hayward's sentence to four-and-a- half years.