SA court extends sentence for sex offender

Tim Dornin
·2-min read

A South Australian man who abused a 13-year-old girl has had his jail sentence increased with an appeal court ruling his original term a threat to public confidence in the administration of justice.

Matthew James McIntyre, 35, started communicating with the girl on a social networking and dating website for teenagers called MyLol in late 2019.

The pair then started exchanging text messages before he met up with her and sexually abused her.

The girl, who was in state care at the time, fell pregnant as a result and later had a termination.

McIntyre's offending came to light in January 2020, when a youth care worker became aware of the "sexualised" text messages and contacted police.

He was jailed earlier this year for three years and nine months with a non-parole period of one year and 11 months after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse and with making a child amenable to sex.

But the Crown appealed against the jail terms arguing they were manifestly inadequate.

In a judgment on Friday, the Court of Criminal Appeal agreed and increased McIntyre's head sentence to five years and three months and a non-parole period of three years and six months.

In his reasons, Justice Sam Doyle said while the appeal court was usually reticent to intervene in such cases, it was appropriate to do so in this instance.

He said the original sentence did not adequately reflect the various features of the case and the dearth of anything in the McIntyre's offending or personal circumstances to suggest he had good prospects of rehabilitation.

"In the circumstances, I am satisfied that it is appropriate for this court to intervene in the present case so as to maintain proper sentencing standards and so as not to threaten public confidence in the administration of justice," he said.