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WA minister blasts Legal Aid over appeal

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016 Greg Roberts

Legal Aid's decision to fund an appeal by a Perth father jailed for pimping out his daugher to other pedophiles has been criticised by the Liberal National government and the opposition.

The man, who cannot be named to protect his daughter's identity, was jailed for 22 years after he pleaded guilty to 61 charges and will argue his jail term was too severe.

Four men have been jailed over the sexual abuse of the girl who is now aged 14, between 2013 and 2015. Two men are awaiting sentencing and another is yet to plead in the case the became known as the "Evil 8".

Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis attacked Legal Aid's decision as "stupid", given the 42-year-old father had pleaded guilty.

He said fathers living in his electorate that were trying to get more access to their children following marriage breakdowns were more deserving.

"Far more important than a child molester or guy who put his kid up for it having his sentence reduced," he told reporters.

"I think Legal Aid needs to go and have a look at their priorities."

Labor opposition leader Mark McGowan said he was surprised and believed a lot of people would be concerned about Legal Aid's decision, but pointed out the man might end up with a longer jail sentence via the appeal.

Legal Aid WA has defended its decision, saying they were based on legal merit and ensuring full and proper access to justice and not community outrage.

"We have no choice, the principle is that a person has full access to justice and that includes ensuring that the sentence they receive is appropriate in the eyes of the law," spokesman Malcolm Bradshaw said.

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