A predatory paedophile who advertised for his victims in a local paper and was described as a "monster in disguise" by one of the young boys he abused has had his sentence slashed - because he is ill and old.
The 73-year-old, who cannot be named because it might identify his victims, was originally jailed for eight years for molesting three teenage boys in the early 1980s, including two he had employed for weekend work in a home handyman business in the western suburbs.
He advertised in a local newspaper for boys to assist him as a handyman, window cleaner and gardener.
During sentencing last year, a District Court judge said the offences against the three boys, aged between 13 and 14, had ruined their lives - with one of the victims going on to become a convicted child abuser himself.
"It's really very serious offending that calls for some serious sentence to properly reflect the very depraved nature of the offending," Justice Ronald Birmingham said at the time.
Justice Birmingham said there was also evidence the man took photographs of the boys to secure their continued co-operation through fear and shame.
However, in a split decision, WA's Court of Appeal has agreed to knock off three years from the jail term handed to the man - primarily because of his age and because he is suffering several illnesses including Parkinson's disease, coeliac disease and prostate cancer.
Justice Carmel McLure said because of his age and ill health, the eight-year sentence would "destroy any reasonable expectation of a useful life after release and thus is crushing".
"It is the combination of the appellant's age, ill health and the absence of any requirement for personal deterrence that has led me to conclude that the total effective sentence breaches the totality principle," Justice McLure ruled.
Justice Christopher Pullin disagreed, saying the offender's health was stable and had been properly considered by the sentencing judge.
Justice Robert Mazza agreed the sentence should be reduced, meaning the man can be released in April 2018, when he will be 78.