A JEHOVAH'S WITNESS church elder jailed in July for offences of rape and sexual abuse has had his appeal for a lower sentence rejected.

Mark Sewell, of Porthkerry Road, Barry was jailed for 14 years at Merthyr Crown Court for raping a fellow churchgoer, sexually abusing young girls and indecently assaulting a co-worker in the early to mid 1990s.

Sewell appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday, December 10, to appeal his original sentence, a bid which was rejected by three Court of Appeal judges.

One of Sewell's victims, niece Karen Morgan, waived her anonymity to raise awareness of what she says was her poor treatment in the aftermath of telling the church about the abuse she had been suffering at the hands of her uncle.

Speaking after Sewell's appeal was rejected she said: "I'm very relieved. I'm hoping he'll just accept it now.

"You do wonder whether another set of judges will see things the same way, so you have to prepare yourself but I have no doubt - he won't be able to pull the pull over people's eyes any more."

The woman who was raped by Sewell also spoke of her relief.

""I'm very relieved that the judge has upheld the sentence," she said. "I was quite anxious. We've only just got used to the idea of him being sent down.

"I hope that's the end of it now."