A PAEDOPHILE brought to justice over 35 years after he began committing sex offences against children has failed to persuade top judges to cut his 16-year jail term.

Paul Dayalan Saverimuttu, 59, of Vale Cottage, Lower Wych, Malpas, preyed on several children, as young as three years old, between 1972 and 1988.

Saverimuttu was jailed for 16 years on February 5 last year, after pleading guilty to 22 child sex offences, including indecency with a child, attempted rape and numerous indecent assaults.

Yesterday (Wednesday) he asked Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice McCombe and Mrs Justice Sharp, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, to reduce that sentence.

He also asked for permission to appeal against his convictions, claiming that it was an “abuse of process” to have brought the charges against him so long after the event.

He claimed the delay had made it “impossible for him to defend himself”.

The application for permission to appeal was refused, however, apart from in the case of one count of indecency with a child which was overturned due to a technicality, based on the age of the victim at the time.

Saverimuttu also argued his jail term should be cut because sentences for sex offences against children were not as high when he committed his crimes as they are today.

But, refusing the appeal against sentence, Mrs Justice Sharp said: “It was not manifestly excessive, given the number of offences, the seriousness of the sexual activity, the number of victims and the serious consequences for them.

“There are no arguable grounds of appeal.”

Saverimuttu's overall sentence remains unchanged despite the one convicton for indecency with a child being overturned.