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Child sex predator Hamzeh Bahrami has sentence extended by Court of Criminal Appeal

A man who lured a young girl from a playground and sexually assaulted her has been dealt a harsher sentence.

A depraved predator who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in a toilet block has had his prison sentence extended after South Australia’s highest court found he was “grossly undeserving” of a discount first applied.

Hamzeh Bahrami, 34, assaulted the child multiple times after he lured her from a playground at Blair Athol, in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, in April 2019.

He pleaded guilty to several offences and was earlier this year sentenced to four years, nine months behind bars, with a non-parole period of three years.

But the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the term, arguing there had been an error in the application of a 40 per cent sentencing discount.

On Friday, the Court of Criminal Appeal allowed the appeal and resentenced Bahrami to seven years behind bars, with a non-parole period of five years.

“The sentence is so disproportionately low … it must be corrected in order to maintain public confidence in the administration of the law,” said Chief Justice Chris Kourakis and Justices Chris Bleby and Mark Livesey.

They also agreed that sentencing laws at the time that Bahrami entered his guilty pleas had been incorrectly applied.

At that time, offenders were eligible for a discount of up to 40 per cent for their early pleas.

Recent changes to state law have revised the maximum discount to 25 per cent for serious offences, including those committed by Bahrami.

The court found the sentencing judge mistakenly believed he was obliged to allow Bahrami the full 40 per cent.

“Permission to appeal must be granted to correct the erroneous view that allowing the maximum reduction in this grossly undeserving case was required,” the judges said.

Bahrami’s sentences were backdated to April 2019 when he was taken into custody.

Outside court, Detective Senior Sergeant Graham Tomkins, of the SA Police public prosecution branch, welcomed the decision.

“We’re just hopeful that the little victim lives a full and happy life and, with the right support, she goes on and gets to enjoy her future,” he told reporters.

The court has previously heard the girl had been playing on a swing set at a reserve when she was approached by Bahrami.

He asked her where the toilets were before sexually assaulting her multiple times and threatening her in a cubicle.

His daughter and niece, who were both toddlers at the time, peered under the door during the attack.

Bahrami was later charged and pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of false imprisonment.

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