Paedophile has prison term cut after attack

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The Independent Online

A judge told a convicted paedophile yesterday that he was giving him a lesser sentence than he had intended because the man's family home hadbeen burnt down by suspected vigilantes.

A judge told a convicted paedophile yesterday that he was giving him a lesser sentence than he had intended because the man's family home hadbeen burnt down by suspected vigilantes.

Roger Gardener, 56, wasappearing at Cardiff Crown Court for sentencing after being found guilty of indecently assaulting two girls.

Jailing him for 15 months, Judge William Gaskell said: "I take into account the fact that your house has been burnt down and I reduce the sentence toreflect the fact that your family has suffered."

The court was told that the fire at his home at Blackwood, Gwent, happened after his conviction on 7 August for assaulting two girls, who were aged 12 and 13.

Tim Evans, for the defence, said: "He has had to live in a mobile caravan ever since [the fire] with [his] 31-year-old daughter who has learning difficulties."

Judge Gaskell ordered Gardener to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

He said: "These were young children for whom you had a responsibility which you abused.

"You will be worried about your daughter because she has lost her home. The unlawful behaviour inflicted on you has the consequence that the sentence is reduced."