June 2016

Perverted painter who abused East Grinstead schoolgirl fails in bid to reduce sentence

A perverted painter and decorator who wrecked a 14-year-old East Grinstead schoolgirl’s childhood has failed in a ‘misconceived’ bid to get his jail term cut.

Michael Snowdon, 37, of Wetherby Road in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, was imprisoned for six years at Lewes Crown Court on November 27 last year.

He had admitted four counts of sexual activity with a child and three of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

But Yesterday (June 23) he tried to appeal this sentence and get it reduced when he appeared at the London Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice in Strand.

Mr Justice William Davistold the court that Snowdon had befriended the 14-year-old victim.

He sent the youngster suggestive texts, eventually telling her, ‘I think your body is almost ready for the next step’.

Snowdon then ended up sexually molesting her and getting her to pleasure him, said the judge, who was sitting with Mr Justice Julian Flaux.

A personal statement from the victim described the feelings of a underage teenage girl ‘exploited’ by a much older man, said the judge.

She said her idea of a ‘perfect relationship in the future’ had been ‘ruined’ and the abuse had made it ‘hard to trust people’.

Snowdon was of previous good character, the court heard, and his lawyers attacked his jail term as ‘far too long’.

According to the Sentencing Council for England and Wales for both the charge of sexual activity with a child and and a causing a child to engage in sexual activity the maximum sentence possible is 10 years in custody.

But Mr Justice Davis said arguments that Snowdon’s crimes were not the ‘most serious’ of their kind were ‘unsustainable’.

Describing his appeal as ‘misconceived’, the judge concluded: “There is nothing wrong with this sentence – and the appeal is dismissed.”