A man who has worked for the Red Cross in disaster areas around the world and "dedicated his life to helping others" has been sentenced to home detention for historic sexual offending.
Garry Mabey, 59, pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault part way through a trial in Napier in June.
Mabey, who used to own an orchard near Clive, indecently assaulted a woman while she attended a Hawke's Bay boarding school 20 years ago. He had originally claimed the pair had consensual sex on seven occasions between 1993 and 1995.
The victim is now in her late 30s.
During the trial, she said she was raped and indecently assaulted at the orchard and at a Napier property between 1993 and 2000.
She was overseas for many years and laid a complaint with police in 2009 after returning to New Zealand.
Yesterday Mabey's lawyer, Tony Snell, said Mabey had joined the Red Cross after his wife's death about 10 years ago.
"He's worked variously overseas in disaster areas and has dedicated his life pretty much to helping others and has been a model member of the community," Mr Snell said.
He said the offending was an "aberration".
Mabey was now "of very impecunious means because his lifestyle had changed significantly", but he had borrowed money to make a $1000 emotional harm payment to his victim.
He had also written a letter of apology to her.
Judge Tony Adeane said the offending had been "highly destructive of both parties".
The complainant had suffered longstanding psychological issues, and Mabey's affairs had deteriorated.
"He has given himself over lately to good works at the expense of his material possessions and wellbeing," Judge Adeane said, in sentencing him to nine months' home detention.
He said Mabey was at a low risk of reoffending and had "already suffered significantly from his error of judgment many years ago".
Mabey began his sentence at a Wellington address yesterday.
- © Fairfax NZ News