More jail for Vic incest man after appeal

A three-and-a-half-year jail term handed to a man for incest with his stepdaughter, which led to her pregnancy, has been increased by four years following a High Court appeal.

The stepfather had pleaded guilty to incest and sexual penetration of the girl, who was aged between nine and 13 at the time.

He also admitted incest and indecent assault against the girl's sister, who was aged 15 to 16.

The Director of Public Prosecutors appealed the sentence handed down in 2015 for the first count of incest, that led to the younger girl becoming pregnant. It argued the term was manifestly inadequate.

But the Victorian Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

The DPP then took its fight to the High Court, which unanimously found the Court of Appeal ruling incorrect - a decision that paves the way for tougher future sentences.

While the Court of Appeal agreed the sentence was "extremely lenient", it was not outside the permissible range. It also acknowledged current sentencing practices did not reflect the gravity of such crimes.

But the High Court argued this was where the Court of Appeal should have stepped in.

"The Court of Appeal should have corrected the effect of the error of principle, which it recognised," the High Court ruling said.

The High Court argued the lower court erred by placing too much weight on current sentencing practices.

It said while current sentencing practices must be taken into account by judges, they should only be one factor, and not the controlling factor, when fixing a just sentence.

The High Court sent the matter back to the Court of Appeal, which re-sentenced the man on Thursday, taking his total sentence on all charges from five-and-a half-years to nine-and-half-years.

He must spend at least six years in prison before being eligible for parole.

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