A Sydney man convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl at his share house in 2019 has had his sentence reduced upon a successful appeal.
A judgment by the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal published on Wednesday will see Glenn Ian Morrison, 55, released from prison at least two-and-a-half years earlier than previously expected.
The court rejected Morrison's appeal of his conviction, which targeted a single word "not" erroneously given to the jury, but cut the jail time imposed by District Court Judge Jane Culver in April 2021.
"This is not so much a ground of manifest excess, but an impermissible exercise of the discretion to accumulate notional sentences when imposing an aggregate sentence," the appeals judges wrote.
When determining the total sentence, Judge Carver did not consider that all charges brought against Morrison related to events occurring within the same block of time in the early hours of August 20, 2019.
On the day before, the complainant who was 13 at the time had an argument with her mother and went to Manly Wharf to see a friend.
The plan was to stay at that friend's place, but she did not arrive. Instead, she met Morrison who had his guitar with him and offered her a cigarette. It was cold and he offered to take her back to his place in Mascot.
Evidence shown in the court revealed that Morrison was intoxicated at the time. The pair caught the ferry to Circular Quay where they stopped at a pub. She waited outside while he had a beer.
The sexual assault occurred early on August 20. He claimed the girl had asked him to "make love" to him, but this was rejected by the jury.
Morrison was originally jailed for a maximum of 13 years in jail with a non-parole period of eight years and eight months.
The appeals court reduced his maximum sentence to 10-and-a-half years expiring on February 21, 2030. His non-parole period is now seven years, ending on August 21, 2026.
In his appeal, Morrison sought to overturn his conviction, claiming the jury was misled by directions mistakenly ordering them to consider whether he had a reasonable basis to believe the sex was consensual if he "did not honestly" believe that.
While the "not" had been erroneously included by the judge, the appeals court found it was ultimately immaterial.
"There was no miscarriage by the error in the direction. It has not been shown that there is a significant possibility that the error affected the outcome of the trial," the appeal judges said.