Cornish paedophile artist Graham Ovenden jailed after sentence judged 'unduly lenient' (From Falmouth Packet)
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Cornish paedophile artist Graham Ovenden jailed after sentence judged 'unduly lenient'
3:41pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A Cornish artist who avoided prison after being found guilty of sex offences against children has been jailed, after his sentence was judged to be "unduly lenient" at the Court of Appeal.
Three judges at the Court of Appeal in London examined whether the non-custodial punishment imposed in the case of Graham Ovenden should be overturned and replaced with a term of imprisonment.
Ovenden, of The Garage, Barley Splatt near Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, received 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years at Plymouth Crown Court in June, after being convicted of a total of six counts of indecency with children and one of indecent assault.
This has now been quashed and replaced with one of 27 months custody.
Speaking after the hearing the Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC MP said: “Graham Ovenden committed terrible sexual offences against vulnerable young girls who were in his charge and ought to have felt safe. He manipulated them and abused his position of trust.
“The Court of Appeal agrees that the 12 month suspended sentence handed to him was unduly lenient, and I am satisfied they have replaced it with 27 months custody.
“It is right that sexual crimes whether committed many years ago or more recently should be punished appropriately. Today the court affirmed this and sent a clear message, that people who have behaved in this way in the past, will face the consequences through the courts”.
The sentence was referred to the Court of Appeal by Attorney General Dominic Grieve and was looked at by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Blake.
Ovenden, who studied under the so-called ''Godfather of Pop-Art'' Sir Peter Blake, was accused of abusing children as young as six who posed for his paintings in the 70s and 80s.
The artwork - much celebrated in galleries across the world at the height of his commercial popularity - formed part of a ruse for abusing girls at his studio in Cornwall and former home in Hounslow, west London, where he would make them dress in Victorian clothing before removing it and committing indecent acts.
Following Ovenden's conviction, the Tate removed more than 30 prints from its online collection.
The 34 prints were given to the Tate in 1975 as part of a larger gift of around 3,000 works and include work inspired by Alice In Wonderland and images of naked young girls.
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