A PAEDOPHILE who was jailed for the abuse of 20 girls today saw his "unduly lenient" jail term increased by top judges.

Peter Daniels, 70, formerly of Alderbury, near Salisbury, preyed on girls as young as five in a decade-long campaign of abuse.

Thirteen of the victims were raped, with Daniels recording some of the attacks and storing the clips on his computer.

He was first jailed in October 2017 for a string of offences, but given a life term last December another 78 serious sexual crimes.


The judge at Winchester Crown Court ordered him to serve at least nine years before release.

However, that was upped to 12 years today when senior judges at the Court of Appeal in London declared the term "unduly lenient".

Lady Justice Hallett said Daniels made clear in an interview with a psychiatrist that he did not consider himself a paedophile.

"He said that ten is 'the perfect age in nature'," she told the court.

Daniels claimed none of his victims ever complained about what he did and that, had they done so, he would have stopped.

But the judge said the pensioner had preyed on youngsters, grooming them to think what was happening was normal.

He offered gifts, money and treats in exchange for sexual activity and even persuaded some to perform sex acts on each other.

"When he was finally arrested, police found in his possession more than 250,000 indecent images of children," she said.


Daniels - who the judge said probably has Asperger's Syndrome - was first investigated by police in July 2017.

The case reached the Court of Appeal after a reference by the government's law officer, attorney general Geoffrey Cox QC.

Representing Mr Cox, barrister Paul Jarvis argued that the nine-year minimum term Daniels received was far too short.

The crimes took place over about 10 years and were targeted against 20 victims, most of them under 13 and two of them "tiny", he said.

Ruling on the case today, Lady Justice Hallett, sitting with Mr Justice Spencer and Mr Justice Nicklin, said Daniels had now expressed remorse for his crimes.

"However, he is such a committed paedophile, as his comments to the author of the pre-sentence report and the psychiatric report make clear, we suspect he still does not genuinely accept he was doing anything wrong, whatever his protestations relayed to the court by his counsel," she continued.

She said the nine-year term was too short, "in the light of the gravity of the offending, the number of victims and the abundance of aggravating factors".

Increasing the minimum term to 12 years, she continued: "We emphasise that in setting the minimum term, we are not stating that he should serve just 12 years.

"He is subject to a life sentence with all that entails.

"He must serve 12 years before he is even considered for parole and by then he will be in his mid-eighties."


Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Angus Macpherson welcomed the news.

He said: “This result today shows the importance of challenging the courts and appealing sentences when we feel they do not reflect the seriousness of the crimes.

“I believe today’s sentence is more proportionate and addresses the scale of Daniels’ offending and the lifelong impact this will have had on his many young victims.

“I would like to thank the courts for taking the time to re-examine their original decision and responding so positively to the concerns raised by me on behalf of Wiltshire Police.”

Chief constable Kier Pritchard also welcomed the update from court.

He said: “I welcome today’s result and this new minimum term.

“Peter Daniels is a prolific offender and the investigation into his crimes was the biggest child sexual exploitation case that Wiltshire Police has dealt with.

“This new sentence handed down today means Daniels will be in his eighties before he is considered for parole and we hope that provides some comfort for his victims, who are still coming to terms with what happened to them.

“I know the police officers and staff who worked so hard on this case also welcome today’s result and feel it is a more adequate punishment given the seriousness and severity of his crimes.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge the hard work of the investigation team, who worked tirelessly on this extremely long and complex case, and thank them for their dedication and commitment.”