A Perth man who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl after gaining her trust on a train ride could walk free from jail after serving less than two years, after prosecutors decided not to appeal his sentence.
Liam Jon Dreja, 33, pleaded guilty in the WA District Court in mid August to three counts of sexual penetration of a child under 13, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years jail.
He was sentenced to three-and-a-half-years.
The court was told how the offences happened in February 2016 and that Dreja and the girl, who is currently in state care, were not known to one another.
Dreja was on a Joondalup line train when he saw the girl also on the train looking distressed and crying.
Dreja offered to help find the girl accommodation after she told him she was homeless.
He later sexually assaulted the 11-year-old in a school playground. He was arrested and charged the following day.
His three-and-a-half-year jail term was backdated to February last year, and with time already served and parole eligibility, he could walk free by November.
A spokesperson for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said on Wednesday that after reviewing the case, they would not lodge an appeal.
"Having carefully evaluated the sentencing remarks and the factual basis upon which the offender was sentenced, as well as Court of Appeal authorities in relation to comparable cases, the state has formed the view that there are no reasonable prospects of successfully appealing the matter," the spokesperson said.
Hetty Johnston, founder and executive chair of the Bravehearts child protection organisation, had previously called for the sentence to be appealed.
"The whole sentencing system right across this country needs to be revisited," she told WAtoday last month.
"Our expectations are that people who sexually offend against children are dealt with harshly.
"We've got a go-soft approach here and it is unacceptable."