A FORMER drama coach who groomed a young girl with pornography before sexually molesting her had his jail term cut.
Victor Bignell, an ex-director of the Savoy Theatre Trust in Monmouth, was locked up for three-and-half years at Canterbury Crown Court in October after admitting two counts of indecent assault dating back 30 years.
The 74-year-old, of Maryport Street, in Usk, was ordered to serve that sentence consecutively to a term he was handed in December 2011 for child pornography offences.
Yesterday, top judges reduced his sentence for the indecent assaults to two years, saying the original term was “too long” in light of his age and poor health.
Bignell committed the offences in Thanet, Kent, in the 1970s and 1980s.
The court heard Bignell preyed on his victim when she was about ten years old, grooming her using pornography before indecently assaulting her. A second incident was brought to a halt when Bignell was disturbed.
In December 2011, Bignell was jailed for two years at Newport Crown Court after admitting possessing 2,226 indecent photographs of children and distributing indecent images.
His lawyers argued his jail term for the historic sex offences was excessive, saying five-and-a-half years for all of his offending was “too long”.
They also said the crown court judge didn’t give enough weight to his advanced years or his poor health – he recently had a major heart operation and suffers with diabetes.
Allowing the appeal, Mr Justice Bean said the original term was “excessive”.