WHEN sexual predator Brett David Hill was jailed for at least 17 years for the five-hour abduction and repeated rape of an 11-year-old girl who was walking to school at Adamstown Heights there were many in the community who considered the sentence too lenient and thought the prosecution should appeal.
And then on December 23 last year, six days after he was jailed for a maximum of 23 years and six months in Newcastle District Court, the Court of Criminal Appeal received a notice of intention to appeal in the matter of R v Brett David Hill.
But it wasn't an inadequacy appeal, brought by the DPP when they believe a sentence is "manifestly inadequate", but a severity appeal filed by Hill and his lawyers, who intend to say the jail term was too harsh.
The notice of intention to appeal is just the first step in an appeal process and the appeal does not yet have a hearing date in the NSW Supreme Court. Hill's lawyers have six months to file the actual appeal and then fundamentally, in order to have the length of the jail term reduced, will need to prove the sentence handed down by Newcastle District Court's Judge Roy Ellis was "manifestly excessive".
Hill is currently not eligible for parole until June, 2035, at the age of 64.
The decision by Hill to appeal against the severity of the jail term will no doubt anger an already disgusted Newcastle community who were shocked when the crime occurred and outraged at what some called Hill's lenient sentence.
The girl should have been safe walking the 500 metres or so from her grandparents' home to school on the morning of June 12, 2018.
But Hill was lurking. He spotted her leaving the house and grabbed her around the throat as she headed towards bushes near the back entrance of the school.
The girl screamed but Hill told her he had a knife.
Over the next five hours he drove the girl to three locations, repeatedly sexually assaulting her before dropping her off at Kotara train station.