Appeal of artist paedophile Graham Ovenden's 'unduly lenient' sentence mooted to Attorney General
Thursday 06 June 2013
The Attorney General is considering referring the sentence of an internationally renowned artist from Cornwall to the Court of Appeal to see if it was "unduly lenient".
Paedophile Graham Ovenden, 70, was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years by a judge on Tuesday.
The sentence had sparked an outcry among child abuse campaigners and now Dominic Grieve QC MP, the Attorney General, is to consider referring the case to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Grieve has 28 days from the date of sentence to make the referral under the "unduly lenient" scheme, a spokeswoman confirmed.
The artist, who studied under the so-called "Godfather of Pop-Art" Sir Peter Blake, had been convicted of six charges of indecency with a child and one allegation of indecent assault relating to three girls following a trial in April.
Ovenden, of The Garage, Barley Splatt near Bodmin Moor, denied all the charges relating to four children now all adults between 1972 and 1985.
At Plymouth Crown Court, Judge Graham Cottle told the artist that the guidelines allowed for a jail term of up to five years but he considered that he no longer posed a threat to children.
"I take into account your age, the age of the offences, the considerable self-inflicted punishment that comes with your convictions, your steep fall from grace and your irreversibly tarnished reputation," the judge said.
Judge Cottle said that Ovenden was motivated by a sexual interest in children.
"The girls involved in this indictment had no understanding at that time of the true purpose of what you were doing and that purpose was undoubtedly sexual," he added.
Outside court, Ovenden maintained he had been the victim of a "witch-hunt" and had "been through considerable hell".
Asked if he thought everybody was wrong apart from him, he replied: "Since I'm probably 20 times more intelligent than most people I think that would be a very reasonable assumption."
He insisted he would be appealing and added: "I am quite gobsmacked and I have to thank Judge Cottle for his judgment this time but with the language he used one anticipated getting banged up.
"What is a sexual image? You need to see them.
"The problem of child sexuality is a problem first and foremost a problem of the Anglo-Saxon Christian fundamentalist. All this anguish has come from America."
Ovenden denied the victims in the case were traumatised by what he put them through - describing it as "complete and utter bollocks".
"In fact she absolutely loved it and most of them carried on modelling for me well into adulthood," Ovenden maintained.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Australia to impose 24-hour curfew on all cats to protect endangered species
- 2 Model's video shoot on the beach interrupted by sudden landing of a group of illegal migrants
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 MH370: Boeing 777 wing that could match missing plane found on the French island of Reunion
- 5 'Killer robots' with AI must be banned, urge Stephen Hawking, Noam Chomsky and thousands of others in open letter
Frank Ocean, where's that new album at?
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk
Jesse Pinkman's meth den house from Breaking Bad is yours for $1.6 million
Top Gear: Jenson Button reportedly joining Chris Evans as replacement host
R Kelly's Ignition (Remix) is the most nostalgic song going, according to Spotify
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
Labour leadership contest: I would never quit the party, says Liz Kendall