Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Cornish paedophile artist Graham Ovenden's sentence referred to Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient


Artist Graham Ovenden, who was spared prison after being found guilty of a string of sex charges against children, will see his sentence referred to the Court of Appeal for being unduly lenient, the Attorney General said today.

Ovenden, 70, was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years by a judge last month.

The Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided to refer his case to the Court of Appeal where judges will decide whether or not to increase the sentence.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General's Office said: "Having carefully reviewed this case, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided to refer the sentence of Graham Ovenden to the Court of Appeal for review.

"The case will in due course be heard by three Court of Appeal judges who will decide whether or not the sentence is unduly lenient and whether they should increase the sentence."

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.