Disgraced Maori Television Service head John Davy has had his eight-month prison term for using a bogus CV cut to six on appeal.

The decision by Justice Judith Potter in the High Court at Auckland yesterday means that Davy, who has already served two weeks in jail, will be out in 2 1/2 months.

It will not be a day to soon for Davy, who is in the special unit at Mt Eden jail because of threats against him by other prisoners.

Justice Potter said the district court judge was right in ruling that the "enormity of the deceit" was a special circumstance justifying imprisonment.

She described Davy's actions as a sustained and deliberate deception requiring a far-reaching web of deceit because the qualifications he could offer were simply nowhere near those necessary for the chief executive of the MTS.

Fortunately, the "massive deception" which led to Davy's appointment was discovered before the deceit was played out for long.

In her view, the district court judge realistically considered that a suspended sentence would mean Davy would leave the country unpunished.

Justice Potter said there was a need to impose a sentence which would signal a very clear message of deterrence to others who might consider using methods such as Davy did to further their job chances.

The appropriate sentence was six months after taking mitigating factors into account.

The judge said the district court judge was right to refuse leave to apply for home detention.

Davy's lawyer, Kahungunu Barron-Afeaki, argued that the term imposed in the district court was manifestly excessive and that a suspended jail term would have sufficed.

He said Davy's offending in breaching his employer's trust was at the lower end of the scale.

"Mr Davy has had a very salutary period of two weeks in Mt Eden Prison," Mr Barron-Afeaki said.

David McNaughton, representing the police, said a suspended sentence would not be a deterrent for a foreign national.

He said Davy's deception went right to the heart of the issue of his suitability for the position of chief executive.

* An investigation has found that Davy was entitled to legal aid despite the Herald revealing he had undeclared overseas assets.

Davy has a $30,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle waiting for him in Saudi Arabia and a bank account in the Isle of Man.