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Court rules pervert's jail term was just

PUBLISHED: 16:49 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:46 25 August 2010

A SAVAGE pervert who sexually molested a teenage girl - and went on to brutally rob and beat an 83-year-old widow in her own home - has failed to convince top judges his indefinite sentence was too tough.

A SAVAGE pervert who sexually molested a teenage girl - and went on to brutally rob and beat an 83-year-old widow in her own home - has failed to convince top judges his indefinite sentence was too tough.

"Dangerous" criminal Patrick Anthony Purcell preyed on the terrified 16-year-old girl in Greenwich in July 2006, kissing her, touching her breasts and threatening her not to tell anyone.

And, whilst he was on bail, in December the same year, he pushed his way into the vulnerable widow's home, knocked her down and punched her at least six times.

He left the pensioner bleeding, battered and bruised and told her: "If I don't get any money, I will kill you", Lord Justice Pill told London's Criminal Appeal Court.

After putting on gloves, he pushed his victim's arm behind her back with such force that he broke her wrist. He took her to her bedroom and threw her on the bed before searching her house and making off with £1,500 in cash.

Purcell, 38, of Prentis Court, Charlton Lane, Charlton pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to sexual assault and robbery and in August last year was handed an indefinite term of imprisonment for public protection (IPP).

The sentence, almost identical to a life term, means Purcell can have no hope of release until he can convince the Parole Board he poses no serious public danger.

He was told he would have to serve at least five-and-a-half years behind bars - the equivalent of an 11-year sentence - before he could even ask to be freed.

The judge who sentenced him described him as "dangerous" and said the robbery was "of the most appalling kind".

At the Appeal Court, Purcell's legal team argued his minimum five-and-a-half-year jail term was "manifestly excessive" and should be reduced.

But Lord Justice Pill, sitting with Mr Justice Blair and Sir Richard Curtis, dismissed his appeal, saying: "This was a severe sentence... but severity is justified in such circumstances".

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