A South Australian man who abused and got a 13-year-old girl living in state care pregnant has had his sentence extended after the state’s highest court ruled his original term was too lenient.
Three justices sitting on the Court of Criminal Appeal intervened in the case of Matthew James McIntyre “so as not to threaten public confidence in the administration of justice”.
McIntyre, 35, started communicating with the girl on an app called MyLol before he met up with her and sexually abused her.
His offending came to light in January 2020, when a youth care worker noticed uncharacteristic behaviour from the teenager.
The worker then checked the young girl’s phone and found “a large number of disturbing text messages”.
In September McIntyre was sentenced to three years, nine months with a non-parole period of one year, 11 months.
In the aftermath of the sentencing, questions were asked of both the department responsible for the young victim and Child Protection Minister Rachel Sanderson.
It was later revealed department boss Cathy Taylor only learned about the incident after McIntyre was jailed.
The DPP earlier this month appealed his term, arguing the victim, who terminated the pregnancy, had been left with profound and lifelong consequences.
“No 13-year-old should be put in that position or be confronted by that decision,” Director of Public Prosecutions Martin Hinton told the court.
Justices Sam Doyle, Tim Stanley and Judy Hughes on Friday set aside the term and re-sentenced McIntyre to five years, three months, with a non-parole period of three years, six months.
They found the original sentence was “manifestly inadequate”, considering McIntyre had exploited the victim’s youth and vulnerabilities.
They also ruled his non-parole period was too low, given “the absence of any basis for optimism” about his prospects of rehabilitation.
The sentence was backdated to August.