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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 August 2006, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Sex text teacher's jail term cut
A primary school teacher who bombarded a 12-year-old girl with text messages to try to get her to sleep with him has had his jail term halved.

Tony Ardener, 26, from Orton Goldhay, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, sent more than 100 texts to the girl in 2004.

He denied inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity but was convicted at Peterborough Crown Court and jailed for four years in April.

His jail term was cut to two years at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

Lord Justice Gage, sitting with Mrs Justice Dobbs and Judge Mettyear, said: "The sentence passed by the judge was longer than it ought to have been for this appellant, a young man of good character, in which the activity was carried out over a limited period of time."

'No physical contact'

He also said a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order which banned him from associating with any female under 16 without appropriate supervision was "too imprecise".

The judge changed the terms to ban him from communicating with any child under 16 via an internet chat room, or by text or telephone, and from being alone with any such child.

The girl's parents had contacted police after discovering Ardener had sent her a large number of text messages, some of a sexual nature.

The sentencing judge noted there had been no meeting and no sexual activity between them, but concluded the texts were for Ardener's own sexual gratification and he hoped or expected something would happen.

In arguing the sentence was too long, his barrister, Hugh Vass, said the offending took place over just 10 days and there was no actual physical contact between the teacher and the girl.

Mr Vass said police authorities had offered Ardener a caution, which he refused because it would have inevitably led to the loss of his job.

Teacher jailed for sex text blitz
07 Apr 06 |  Cambridgeshire

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