A MAN who claimed he was seduced by a 12-year-old Lolita has had his "manifestly excessive" prison sentence cut.

Kim Jacques, of Leeming Lane, Catterick Village, North Yorkshire, was jailed for four years last August after pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to indecent assault and gross indecency.

But yesterday at London's Court of Appeal his barrister Roderick Hunt, described the young victim as a Lolita, who had encouraged the passion the 47-year-old felt towards her.

After hearing ten minutes of legal argument, Mr Justice Keith, sitting with Lord Justice Tuckey and Sir Brian Smedley, ruled the sentence "manifestly excessive" and reduced it to three years.

However, the judge said Jacques will remain on licence for 18 months after his release, meaning he can be recalled to prison if he re-offends.

Mr Justice Keith said Jacques, of previous good character, fell for the precocious girl during 2001 and carried out a number of serious assaults on her at weekends.

When arrested, he denied touching her. He later admitted what he had done, but said she had consented.

Mr Justice Keith said that although the girl may not have resisted his advances, that did not mean she had legally given her consent.

Describing Jacque's offences as "unpleasant", Mr Justice Keith said they had caused "limited" damage.

While right to impose a custodial sentence, he said, the Crown Court judge had failed to give Jacques enough credit for his guilty pleas.