Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 16:40 UK

HIV sex offender appeal rejected

A sex offender from Devon who breached an order banning him from contacting people over the age of 60 has failed in a bid to reduce his latest jail term.

Derek Francis Hornett, of Crossways, Whitestone, Exeter, was jailed in 2005 for three years for knowingly infecting an 82-year-old Paignton woman with HIV.

In May, Hornett was again sentenced to three years for breaching the order.

Judges at the Court of Appeal rejected the 49-year-old's case, saying his sentence was "richly deserved".

Hornett, who knew he was HIV positive, was first jailed for causing grievous bodily harm to the elderly woman after having sex with her and infecting her with the HIV virus.

Nothing we have heard persuades us that it's right to make any alteration to a richly deserved sentence
Mr Justice Foskett

He was jailed by Judge Graham Cottle in December 2005, who told Hornett his actions had devastated his victim both physically and mentally.

As part of that sentence, Hornett was given a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO) banning him from contacting people over 60.

But, within months of being released from jail, Hornett struck up a friendship with a 66-year-old woman, who he did odd jobs for.

Police were called in when the woman became suspicious.

They discovered that Hornett had befriended three other women over 60, one of whom was in her 80s.

He was jailed for three years for breaching the SOPO.

His lawyers argued Hornett's sentence should be reduced to give him the chance to care for his seriously ill wife.

But Mr Justice Foskett said: "Nothing we have heard persuades us that it's right to make any alteration to a richly deserved sentence."



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