Gruesome  dad to have  jail time cut
Picture: The West Australian

A father who physically tortured and sexually molested his four young children, including using a welder to burn his nine-year-old daughter and throwing a 5kg sledgehammer at his 10-year-old son, is set to have his sentence reduced - despite one judge saying the case was a "gruesome" example of child abuse.

The man, who can only be identified as "PES", was sentenced to 14 years jail last year for the horrifying catalogue of crimes against his children when they were as young as four.

The sickening catalogue of abuse, which took place over almost 10 years all over WA, prompted sentencing judge Jeremy Curthoys to label the crimes "callous, brutal and sadistic".

But an appeal that claimed the sentence was excessive was successful this week, so PES is set to return to court to receive a lesser term.

The abuse began in 1998 in Wongan Hills, where one of the man's daughters - aged six at the time - was often sexually molested.

The girl recounted how after being stung by a bee she was locked out of the house for an hour while her father watched a football game on TV.

She was also burnt on her finger with a stick welder and stabbed with a piece of aluminium.

Her younger brother told the court how his knee was sliced with a small knife when he was four and when he was 10 his father threw the sledgehammer at him so hard it displaced his kneecap.

The same boy testified that around Christmas 2009 his father held a gun to his neck before pulling out one of the bullets to show him it was real.

He was told: "You tell anyone about this and I'll kill everyone in this family."

During the appeal, PES' lawyer Simon Watters claimed the total sentence of 14 years was manifestly excessive.

And in a majority decision, the appeal in the Supreme Court was upheld, with Judge Carmel McLure saying the original sentence had included "double counting" of offences.

Recently retired Justice Christopher Pullin disagreed, calling the crimes "particularly gruesome".

The West Australian

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