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Child molester to serve at least half of sentence after A-G appeal win

A man who molested a seven-year-old girl after abducting her from a Kmart store must serve at least half of his jail term, following a successful Queensland government appeal.

Sterling Mervyn Free was sentenced to eight years’ jail in October last year after pleading guilty to taking the girl from the toy aisle on December 18, 2018, abusing her in nearby bushland and dropping her back to the shopping centre.

Sterling Free had pleaded guilty to deprivation of liberty, taking a child for immoral purposes and indecent treatment of a child under 12.

Sterling Free had pleaded guilty to deprivation of liberty, taking a child for immoral purposes and indecent treatment of a child under 12.Credit:Facebook

The government, through Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath, launched the appeal over the “manifestly inadequate” ruling he be eligible for parole in August 2021.

The Queensland Court of Appeal on Tuesday agreed with the father-of-two’s original eight-year jail sentence but removed the parole recommendation.

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