Child sex man says sentence is too soft

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The Independent Online
A SEX OFFENDER yesterday told a judge that his nine- year jail sentence was not harsh enough.

Mark Holmes had admitted kidnapping a 10-year-old girl from a vicarage and subjecting her to a horrific ordeal. After Mr Justice Pill sentenced him at Plymouth Crown Court, Holmes said: 'What sort of sentence is that? I have ruined a girl's life and you give me nine years.'

Holmes, 23, from St Budeaux, Plymouth, committed the sex acts in a nearby caravan where he was staying. The girl and her younger sister were staying with the vicar and his wife while their mother visited their father in London.

Andrew Maitland, for the prosecution, said Holmes, who had his meals at the vicarage, stole the key to the back door after catching sight of the girl.

In the early hours of the morning he let himself into the vicarage, woke the child, and told her he was collecting her on the vicar's instructions because there had been a burglary. The vicar and his wife slept in the next room.

Holmes carried the girl back to his caravan, partly bound her arms and gagged her, then tried to rape her and performed serious sexual assaults upon her, before returning her to her bedroom.

The court heard that after the offences Holmes tried to commit suicide with an overdose and began writing the girl a letter in which he said: 'What you did tonight was forced upon you. Do not carry this on your mind. I am genuinely devastated by my behaviour. I hope you overcome what has happened. I am a beast, an animal.'

In a letter read to the court, the girl's mother said of her daughter: 'She no longer cares about herself and on one occasion was about to walk in front of a car, but I pulled her back.'