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Increased sentence for Graham James

Victims praised the decision of the Manitoba Court of Appeal on Friday to more than double the sentence of child molester and former junior hockey coach Graham James.

"This is a great day for all survivors," retired NHL star Theo Fleury, who played for the Calgary Flames, said on Twitter after the court boosted James's sentence to five years from two.

It was largely because of Fleury that James faced a second set of charges for molesting junior hockey players under his care. He had been convicted in 1997 for sex assaults against three others, including former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy.

Kennedy also posted an online comment after the court announced its decision.

"Everyday together we try to create a better place for our kids. I am confident the trauma our kids suffer from abuse is becoming visible," he said on Twitter.

Later, Fleury appeared on a radio talk show in Winnipeg where he repeated that he was happy with the decision, even though he would have liked to see an even longer sentence.

"A win's a win in hockey terms," he said on CJOB. "We have a long way to go, but today was a breakthrough."

The Canadian Press


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