A PREDATORY paedophile who filmed himself sexually abusing young girls during a perverted campaign that stretched more than 15 years has had his sentence reduced by top judges on appeal.
Christopher Harry Ernest Collins committed a string of sex crimes against four girls when they were aged between 8 and 15 and his offending only came to light after one of his victims plucked up the courage to go to the police.
Following her complaint, officers found thousands of indecent images of children on Collins' computer – including some films he had made of himself abusing other victims.
He had also taken photographs of children in parks and supermarkets, using his mobile phone.
The 49-year-old, of no fixed address in Penzance, was handed a 23-year extended sentence – made up of a 15-year custodial term and a further 8 years on licence – at Truro Crown Court in May.
He previously admitted 16 sex offences, including indecent assault, making indecent images of children and sexual activity with a child.
But his sentence was this week replaced by a conventional jail term of 15 years, by judges sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court – who ruled the original punishment was 'excessive'.
His lawyers said he has since expressed genuine remorse for his crimes and has said that he is determined not to re-offend.
They argued his extended sentence was 'unnecessary', in light of the fact he will be subject to strict monitoring upon his release from prison in any event.
Allowing the appeal, Sir David Calvert-Smith said the 15-year custodial sentence was 'not a day too long', but that there was no need for the extended licence period.