SEXUAL predator Brett David Hill - who abducted and repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl as she walked to school at Adamstown Heights in 2018 - could have his 17-year jail term increased this morning when the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) delivers judgment in a prosecution inadequacy appeal.
It was a crime that shocked the Hunter; a young girl is kidnapped in broad daylight, held for five hours and driven to a number of bush locations where she is subjected to depraved sexual acts.
And when Hill was jailed for a maximum of 23 years and six months in December there were many in the community who thought it was not long enough.
And a few months later, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) made it clear they agreed.
It is rare for the DPP to appeal against the inadequacy of a sentence as long as the one Hill received in December.
But Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Huw Baker, SC, last month told a three-judge bench of the CCA that, while Judge Roy Ellis, who sentenced Hill in Newcastle District Court, had made no error of fact or law, the sentence was "simply too light" and it would be an "affront to the administration of justice" if the Court of Criminal Appeal did not intervene.
"It is no more complex than that," Mr Baker said.
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"When one looks at the profoundly grave conduct, the effect on the victim and the absence of mitigating factors.... [the sentence] is too low and erroneously so.
"[The DPP] would say the court has to intervene because it would be an affront to the administration of justice to allow for a sentence that is this erroneously lenient to remain."
Mr Baker said Judge Ellis's assessment of the objective seriousness of the offending as "extremely high" was correct, but said the indicative sentences for each charge were too lenient and the overall sentence was afforded too large a degree of concurrency.
The court has to intervene because it would be an affront to the administration of justice to allow for a sentence that is this erroneously lenient to remain.Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Huw Baker, SC, told the Court of Criminal Appeal last month.
Barrister James Trevallion, for Hill, had said the sentence Hill received was not inadequate and even if it was found to be lenient it was not so lenient that the CCA should intervene.
Hill has lodged a notice of intention to appeal against the severity of his sentence, intending to claim it was "manifestly excessive", but the actual appeal is yet to be filed. Hill, now 49, is currently not eligible for parole until 2035 at the age of 64.
The three-judge bench of the CCA will deliver their judgment in Sydney Supreme Court at 9.45am.