Family of victim '˜relieved' as Lancing sex offender's sentence is increased

A Lancing man found guilty of indecently assaulting two teenage boys has had his sentence increased by the Court of Appeal.

Kent outside Lewes Crown Court in April. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

Darrel Kent, 34, a clerk, of Ring Road, Lancing, was found guilty of five sexual offences in 2000 and 2001 on Monday, March 6, after a three-week trial at Lewes Crown Court.

He was sentenced on Monday, April 10, at the same court to a two-year suspended sentence, police said.

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He was ordered to pay £3,000 costs and complete 200 hours of unpaid work and would spend ten years on the sex offenders’ register, according to police.

But the case was then referred to the Attorney General for being ‘unduly lenient’.

The Court of Appeal was asked to look at the sentence and the case was heard on Thursday.

Kent’s sentence was increased to a custodial sentence of four years, a spokesperson for the Court of Appeal confirmed.

Speaking to the Herald, a family member of one of the victims welcomed the increase in the sentence.

They had been ‘absolutely devastated’ on hearing the initial sentence, she said.

“All this trauma and upset in the family and he walked out the court room’, she said.

“It was not a punishment.

“He was found guilty on all counts – how can he not go to prison? Where was the justice in that?

“It was distressing for the whole family.”

The family were pleased when the CPS decided to appeal the sentence and on hearing Thursday’s verdict, she said it was as though a ‘weight’ had been lifted.

“It was such a relief,” she said. “Justice has been served.

“He might only serve half that time, but he is serving a custodial sentence.

“We are very happy.”

She said she hoped the result would encourage any other victims to come forward.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.