Atherton chef jailed for having sex with an under age girl has sentence reduced
4:42pm Wednesday 20th February 2013 in North West
A chef who was jailed for six years after starting a sexual relationship with an underage girl had his prison sentence slashed on appeal by top judges today.
Christopher Henry Rantell, 37, took advantage of the 15-year-old's attraction to him, resulting in her becoming pregnant.
Rantell, of Peak Avenue, Atherton, only admitted his crimes - three counts of sexual activity with a child - after a DNA test on the girl's aborted baby showed he was the father.
But today, judges at the Court of Appeal said the term he was given in October last year was too tough and cut it to three years and nine months.
Giving judgment, Lord Justice Rix said the "starting point" for sentence taken by the judge, before reduction to reward guilty pleas, was "much too high".
The court heard that the girl consented to all of the activity, which started with kissing and progressed to involve regular sexual intercourse, including in a park and public toilets.
Rantell, who has a long history of criminal offending, had a partner and a child on the way at the time, the court heard.
The abuse came to light when the girl, by then 16, tried to end the relationship and he became aggressive. Police became involved and her pregnancy was discovered.
Lord Justice Rix said: "He took advantage of the young girl, although he had a partner at home and, indeed, a pregnant partner, or partner shortly to become pregnant."
The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Wilkie and Judge Charles Wide QC, cut the sentence to three years and nine months.
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