“In cases like this, it can be like a pebble being dropped into a creek. The offending goes much wider than the victims,” Judge Davis said. Photo / NZME
A man who came forward about his sexual offending after being confronted by his victims has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for his “premeditated” offences.
The Northland man, in his 70s, cannot be named for legal reasons.
He was supported in the Whangārei District Court by family members and sentenced on three charges of unlawful sexual connection and three charges of indecently assaulting a female.
The court was told the man would often take the victims into a forest to commit his offending, which happened more than eight times.
Prosecutor Nicole Jamieson said there were different levels of assaults on multiple occasions over two to three years, and therefore the man’s offending was a “gross breach of trust” and he should be sentenced at the higher level of offending.
“This offending was premeditated. This was not a one off,” Jamieson said.
She submitted although the defendant went to police and handed himself in, this only occurred after the victims were brave enough to confront him.
Defence lawyer Catherine Cull told the court the offender was cooperative with police and had engaged in a number of therapeutic rehabilitation services.
“The approach for admitting sexual offending needs to be acknowledged because the stakes are high,” she said.
Cull also said the fact he came forward and cooperated had significantly reduced the legal process.
“Thankfully, this was a situation where the victims did not have to give evidence.”
Judge Greg Davis accepted Crown submissions the man had breached the trust of the victims, and referred to a lengthy summary of facts, that was not read out in court for the benefit of the victims.
“These are not easy cases to be involved with. I know there will be conflict and emotion amongst everyone.
“In cases like this, it can be like a pebble being dropped into a creek. The offending goes much wider than the victims,” Judge Davis said.
In delivering the four-and-a-half year prison sentence, Judge Davis gave discounts for early guilty pleas, cooperation with police, and self-directed rehabilitation and remorse.
The judge allowed family to hug the offender before he was taken to the cells.
Judge Davis did not impose a minimum non-parole period and advised this would be up to the Parole Board.
Where to get help:
If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• For more info or to web chat visit safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station – click here for a list.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it’s not your fault.