A SEXUAL predator who lured a young girl into bushes and sexually molested her has been told by top judges he deserved to be jailed indefinitely.
Stephen Gray, who had a previous conviction for the attempted rape of another girl, pushed the youngster to the ground and lay on top of her before warning her not to tell anyone.
The 51-year-old, of Wilkes Avenue, Measham, was caged indefinitely for public protection - which is almost identical to a life sentence - in April 2010, after being convicted of sexual assault at Leicester Crown Court.
Gray challenged his open-ended sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing the crown court judge was wrong to deem it necessary to safeguard the public.
But his appeal was dismissed by three of the country’s most senior judges, who said the sentence was ‘justified’ in light of his offending record.
The court heard Gray assaulted the girl in the summer of 2009 after persuading her to go behind some bushes at Measham Recreation Ground by pretending he had a ‘den’ there.
He pushed her to the ground and got on top of her, but got off after she started to cry and told her not to tell anyone what had happened.
Gray denied any wrongdoing, but was found guilty by a jury.
The court heard he was jailed for four years in 1997 for the attempted rape of another young girl.
A probation report concluded he was a dangerous offender, who did not accept responsibility for his crimes and who insisted he was not attracted to children.
His lawyers argued he should not have been handed the indefinite jail term, saying the crown court judge didn’t take enough account of a psychologist’s report which contradicted the probation report and concluded he was not a dangerous offender.
But, dismissing the appeal, Judge Martyn Zeidman said there was ample evidence for the judge to reach the decision he did.
He said: “In our view the judge was perfectly entitled to place more weight on the view of the probation officer.”