THE victim of child rapist David Bryant said “justice was served” after his attacker had his sentence increased this week.
Retired firefighter David Bryant, 63, was convicted of raping a 14-year-old boy with colleague Dennis Goodman after taking him to play darts at Christchurch Fire Station in 1977, and jailed for six years by Judge Samuel Wiggs.
However judges at the Court of Appeal increased the “unduly lenient” term to eight-and-a-half years on Thursday.
Victim Danny Day, now 50, waived his right to anonymity after the original sentencing in order to encourage other victims of historic sexual offences to come forward.
Mr Day, who attended the appeal hearing, said: “I thought the previous sentence was a disgrace, and the three appeal judges saw that and increased it accordingly.
“The effect this incident has had and still has on my life is devastating.
“Who knows what else I might have done with my life if I had not had this hanging over me. It would have been nice to have the chance to find out.
“I am really pleased at his decision, although it could still have been more, but I could keep on saying that forever.”
During the original sentencing at Bournemouth Crown Court in January, Judge Wiggs told Bryant he was jailing him for the least possible time he was allowed, adding: “It is difficult to think of anybody who has shown, over the years, a stronger sense of civic and public duty than you have.”
However at the appeal on Thursday, Lord Justice Treacy said the sentence “didn’t adequately reflect the aggravating features of the offence and it afforded too much weight to the available mitigation”.
The appeal judges noted the lasting impact on Mr Day’s life, and that Bryant and Goodman – now deceased – must have planned the attack.
“One thing which really bothers me is the idea that if someone has done a crime 30 years ago but has since lived an exemplary life they seem to get a discount,” added Mr Day, a retired carpenter and amateur boxer who now runs an animal sanctuary in Kent.
“That’s really aggravating; the bottom line is they have still done the crime.
“It makes a mockery of the justice system to see silly sentences for such serious offences, and I hope anyone else who has experienced what I did will gain more confidence to come forward now, seeing that justice was served in this case.”