Sex offender set to be released from prison

Last updated 05:00 01/09/2014
Trevor Snowden
Trevor Snowden at his sentencing in 2012.

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Former Wellington publican and prominent rugby identity Trevor William Snowden, 71, will be released on parole next week after being sentenced to 7 years' jail for historic sex offences.

He was convicted of 17 charges in March 2012, including sodomy, indecent acts and indecent assaults against three teenage males in the 1970s and 80s.

Two of the victims had helped clean his Wellington hotels and home. Those two were abused over about five years when they were between the ages of 13 and 18.

As Snowden's sexual assaults on the first teenager became less frequent he moved his attention to the other boy.

In the High Court in 2012 Justice Jill Mallon said, while sentencing Snowden, that the teenagers were "groomed" by being offered alcohol, paid work and kindness.

The third victim was about 19 and a friend of one of the other victims. Snowden plied him with champagne until he passed out and then he committed sexual acts on the youth.

The High Court heard in evidence how Snowden told his young victim, after escorting him back out to Willis St: "Welcome to the wild side".

Parole Board panel convener Justice Michael Behrens, QC, said Snowden's sentence end date was August 15, 2019. He became eligible for parole in August 2014.

"There was no previous similar offending and no offending since 1984," he said.

The board considered a psychological report that indicated Snowden successfully completed 16 treatment sessions with a psychologist.

"According to that report his risk of reoffending is seen as low after considering the static and dynamic risk factors . . . the psychologist was of the view that no further treatment was necessary," Behrens said.

The board instructed Snowden that he was not to associate with or, be in the presence of, any person under the age of 16 (for two years) unless another adult approved by the Probation Service was also present.

Justice Mallon said Snowden had a long career as a hotelier; he had been a rugby player and coach and a house master and teacher at a Wellington school.

Testimonials had described him as a charismatic person who had done a lot of good and, as a hotelier, had helped others in a way that sometimes left him financially worse off.

In May 1993, Snowden and an employee at the Hotel St George shared a $700,000 Lotto prize. But during a High Court trial the court was told that, at the time of his arrest, Snowden was living in a small eastern suburbs flat and had few assets to his name.

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