Court of Appeal judges reduce 30-month jail term handed to Havant flasher who horrified 6-year-old boy
APPEAL judges have cut a jail sentence handed to a pervert who claimed he was holding a bird when he exposed his genitals to a horrified six-year-old boy at a petrol station.
The Court of Appeal, sitting in London with barristers dialling in remotely, ruled Gary Paintin’s two-and-a-half year term was ‘excessive’ and imposed a 12-month jail sentence instead.
The ‘disgraceful’ pervert was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court in late November after being convicted of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
Bird-lover Paintin, 49, of Mardell Close, Havant, drove alongside the boy’s car as his mother went in to pay for petrol, gave him a thumbs-up and exposed himself.
The boy raised the alarm with his mother as she returned – with Paintin having already driven off without buying any petrol.
Paintin, who has previous for similar offences, tried to convince jurors he was just holding a ‘holding a bird that had got free in his car’.
Appeal court judges today said the evidence was ‘overwhelming’ against him but disagreed with the 30-month jail term.
Lord Justice Bean, sitting with Mrs Justice Mcgowan DBE and Mr Justice Murray, agreed that the term was ‘excessive’.
He said the sentence was too long because the original judge said the huge age gap between the victim and Paintin should be taken into account, said Paintin’s actions were nearly a sex act, and the judge did not take account of them being in separate cars.
Giving judgment, Lord Bean said: ‘It seems to us whether the defendant was 19 or 29, rather than 49, as he in fact was, is a matter of very little significance and while in many cases of sexual offences the very young age of the child is a matter of enormous significance to sentencing, it’s not of any real significance, we think, to the facts of this case.
‘We also think that although the judge was entitled to take into account this was in his words “(a lewd act) or as near to it as makes any difference” it was in truth very little more than a case of exhibitionism.
‘Although the effect on the victim in this case was not trivial there are offences in which even behaviour of this kind has a much more serious effect.’
Lord Bean said there was ‘not even the risk of contact’ between the victim and Paintin.
He must now sign the sex offenders’ register and be subject to sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
As reported, jurors took 26 minutes to convict Paintin having heard he had a conviction in 2008 for following a school bus performing a sex act in his car, and another in 2011 for offering a 16-year-old girl ‘a tenner’ if she would perform a lewd act.