A sex predator who raped two schoolgirls, even terrorising one of them with his pet snake, had his 15-year jail term nearly halved by top judges today.

Nathan Rhys Wilde, 24, was caged at Leeds Crown Court in October last year after he was convicted of four counts of oral rape.

Wilde, of Walkley Lane, Heckmondwike, attacked his two victims when he was himself a teenager, London’s Appeal Court heard today.

His victims were both under 10 at the time and it was only two years ago that his depraved crimes came to light.

One girl told how he repeatedly molested her, punching her if she refused to submit to his demands.

The other suffered a similar ordeal - and Wilde threatened her with a snake which lived in a tank in his room.

The Court of Appeal

Both girls had been severely psychologically affected by what Wilde did to them, said Lord Justice Davis.

The case reached the Appeal Court as Wilde’s legal team attacked his punishment as far too tough.

Lord Justice Davis noted the “degree of violence and coercion” Wilde used against his first victim, who was “defenceless and vulnerable”.

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However, the judge, sitting with Mr Justice Gilbart and Judge Michael Stokes QC, said 15 years was way over the top given Wilde’s own youth at the time.

He had no other criminal convictions and the appeal judge concluded: “We think that this sentence was much too long.”

Wilde’s sentence was cut to eight years, of which he will serve half before qualifying for early release.