VICTIMS of disgraced former Aboriginal Affairs minister Milton Orkopoulos have welcomed the Supreme Court's rejection of his appeal against child sex and drug convictions.
The appeals court yesterday shaved just three months off his maximum sentence, reducing it to 13 years and eight months with a non-parole period of nine years.
He will now be eligible for release in January 2017.
The 51-year-old will remain in the maximum security Lithgow jail, where he occupies a cell furnished with little more than a wash basin, toilet, bed, pinboard and shower.
A Corrective Services Department spokesman said Orkopoulos was in protective custody, separated from the mainstream prison population.
He was jailed in May 2008 for at least nine years and three months after being convicted by a NSW District Court of 28 charges, the most serious including heroin supply and sexual intercourse without consent.
Orkopoulos pleaded guilty at the start of his trial to two other offences, including possessing child pornography.
In June 2009, he began proceedings in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal, seeking to appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Yesterday, his appeal against his conviction was dismissed but the three-judge panel granted him leave to appeal against his sentence.
He was not in court yesterday to hear the ruling.
The mother of one of Orkopoulos's victims, who cannot be identified, said her son would have to live with the consequences of the disgraced MP's actions for the rest of his life.
She said Orkopoulos used his status as a Labor Party member to get access to her son and compliments to soften up the family.
"He said what a fine upstanding boy [he] was," she said. "I remember thinking how great it was he had taken notice."
She had no idea what lay ahead for her son.
Orkopoulos claimed at his appeal there had been a miscarriage of justice because the trial judge had failed to properly direct the jury, causing them to return unsafe and unsatisfactory verdicts.
He appealed against his convictions on 30 charges and on the severity of his sentence.
The three justices who heard the appeal described Orkopoulos as "entirely unconvincing" in his evidence after he denied having prolonged contact with one of the boys.
Phone logs were presented and he told the court somebody else must have been using his mobile phone to talk to the boy.
Hetty Johnston, founder of Bravehearts, a child protection advocacy group, said the court's decision brought much-needed finality for Orkopoulos's victims.
"While this was still before the court the process was still in play," she said.
"The appeals court can throw cases out or order retrials and the victims remain on edge."