August 2018

Man who abused 6-year-old girl to be released after judges say jail term is too tough

A Preston man who sexually molested a six-year-old girl will soon be free after top judges ruled his jail term was too tough.

Anthony Bibby, of The Howgills, Fulwood, was locked up for 14 months at Preston Crown Court on May 15. The 29-year-old admitted two counts of indecent assault, Mrs Justice May told London’s Appeal Court.

His victim was aged just six, while he was a young teenager when he committed his crimes.

But the judge who jailed Bibby said there was a ‘considerable disparity’ in age between them.

She was ‘not much more than a toddler’ when he assaulted her. The harm done to the victim was ‘severe’ and she has since suffered from depression and panic attacks.

Lawyers for Bibby argued that his jail term was far too harsh and should be reduced. They pointed to his remorse, youth and clean record since.

Mrs Justice May said the victim’s life was ‘blighted’ by Bibby and she has ‘struggled with what he did to her’. And the Crown Court judge ‘was right’ to conclude that only immediate imprisonment could meet the seriousness of his crimes.

But, upholding Bibby’s appeal, she added: “The sentence of 14 months passed by the judge was manifestly excessive.”

Bibby had ‘matured’ and was now ‘very far from the child’ he was when he attacked the little girl.

The appeal judge, who was sitting with Mrs Justice Andrews, slashed Bibby’s jail term to five months. Because of the time that he has already served, Bibby should be released from prison immediately.