May 2017

Court of Appeal challenge dismissed

An “arrogant” Somerset man who was jailed for having sex with an underage girl failed in a Court of Appeal challenge to his prison sentence.

Jason Michael Danes, 23, who lives at an address near Taunton, twice had sex with the girl when she was only 14.

He denied it, but was convicted of two counts of sexual activity with a child at Taunton Crown Court in October last year.

He was jailed for two-and-a-half years, but today took his case to London in a bid for a cut in his jail time.

However, in a hearing this morning, Lady Justice Hallett and two senior colleagues rejected Danes’ appeal against the sentence.

“As a mature adult, he took advantage of a child,” said the judge. “The consequences for her have been traumatic.”

The court heard that, although Danes denied any wrongdoing, he was said by the trial judge to be “somewhat arrogant”.

He undoubtedly knew how old she was and there was a “significant disparity” in age between the two of them.

However, his lawyers argued that the age gap was not so great as to justify such a long sentence.

But the appeal judge answered: “What constitutes a significant disparity of age must depend on all the circumstances of the case.

“In our judgment, the trial judge was well-placed to make an assessment.

“We are not persuaded that the sentence of two-and-a-half years for at least two offences of sexual intercourse with a child was excessive.

“The appeal must be dismissed.”