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Indecency man has sentence halved

PUBLISHED: 05:00 28 May 2002 | UPDATED: 12:00 03 March 2010

A 56-year-old man who invited young girls to his flat where he plied them with drink, let them watch pornographic movies and encouraged them to strip for home made videos had his sentence halved at London's Court of Appeal.

A 56-year-old man who invited young girls to his flat where he plied them with drink, let them watch pornographic movies and encouraged them to strip for home made videos had his sentence halved at London's Court of Appeal.

Melvin Potter, of Felix Road, Ipswich, was jailed for five years at Ipswich Crown Court on December 12 last year after admitting making and taking indecent photographs.

He was further put on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely and disqualified from working with children.

However three Appeal Court judged ruled that, despite the planning involved in the offences, the five-year sentence was "excessive". They halved the term to two and a half years.

The court heard how Potter filmed young girls, who were playing truant from school, at his flat and they would then watch them together before the films were erased.

Mr Justice Nelson said he would ply the girls with cigarettes and alcohol and allow them to watch pornographic videos.

"The girls would strip in front of the camera and he would pay them £5 for this. On one occasion they rubbed their private parts with a vibrator."

The judged continued: "Subsequently a number of pornographic videos and a vibrator were found in Potter's flat.

"A pre-sentence report said Potter felt he was being 'kind' and felt he was 'being used by them'. He was considered a risk to children."

However Mr Justice Nelson added that Potter did not directly physically abuse any of the victims.

The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Pill and Mr Justice McCombe, said: "We take into account the fact that these offences are now registered as potentially very grave and the corruption of children is seen as very serious.

"Custody was inevitable – this was a case where there was grooming, planning and clear corruption. However the girls involved appear to have been willing participants.

"Five years in all the circumstances was manifestly excessive. The proper sentence is one of two and a half years' imprisonment."


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