A SEX predator who stopped abusing a schoolboy “as a new year’s resolution” had his sentence cut by top judges.
Kevin Hole, aged 30, stopped exploiting the youngster after he became wracked by remorse, his legal team said.
And, by admitting his guilt early on, he spared the boy and his family the ordeal of a protracted trial, London's Appeal Court heard.
Hole, of Fairview Drive, Adlington, Chorley, was jailed for four years at Bolton Crown Court in July last year after admitting counts of sexual and indecent assault.
He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life, and given a sexual offences prevention order — barring him from unsupervised contact with boys under the age of 16.
Mr Justice Blake, sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Judge Keith Cutler QC, said Hole’s crimes consisted of repeatedly groping the boy.
He added: “He recognised that he had damaged the child in a serious way.”
But Hole’s case reached the Appeal Court as he successfully challenged his four-year term with claims that it was excessive.
Mr Justice Blake noted the gravity of Hole’s crimes and their impact on his young victim.
But he had shown “insight into the nature of his conduct and regret”, said the judge, and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
- Vandals ruin junior teams' football pitches
- REVEALED: Opening date of latest restaurant to launch at Bolton shopping centre
- Residents' fears over Hulton Park plans
- Funerals in Bolton to be streamed live on the internet
- PICTURES: Pupils 'gobsmacked' as 17ft dinosaur comes to school
“There is substance in the argument that the totality of the sentence was too high,” the appeal judge concluded.
Hole’s sentence was cut to three years and three months.