Man admits sex acts, denies others
A Palmerston North man who has admitted some sex offences against an underage girl yet denies others says the weight of his earlier crimes was "burning a hole in his soul".
The jury trial of Harold William Haley, 58, began in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday.
Haley faces three counts of indecent assault on a girl under 12 and one of sexual violation.
The Crown says the offences took place between April 2006 and April 2007, when she was 9.
The court heard how Haley, in his first interview with police, confessed to committing sexual acts on the girl.
He later pleaded guilty to two representative charges of indecent assault and one of sexual violation when the girl was aged between 3 and 5, and 5 and 10. However, he denies the latest charges.
Crown prosecutor Andrea Read said the offences against the girl were committed by Haley when she was alone with him.
The girl has accused Haley of touching her breasts and genitals, and committing a sexual act on her, which he then encouraged her to do to him.
He told her she "was going to be pretty when she grew up" and commented multiple times on the size of her breasts.
Miss Reid asserted Haley had an "unlawful sexual interest" in the girl from age 3, and maintained it until she was 9.
The offending stopped when the girl told him she would tell her mother, she said.
Haley's lawyer Phil Mitchell told the jury his client had done things to the girl when she was younger that he should not have done, and they would not hear him or Haley "defend the indefensible".
But they would see from Haley's recorded interview with police someone who was "wracked with guilt" as he "unburdened" his crimes, he said.
Mr Mitchell said the jury would hear Haley say the crimes were "something that's been burning a hole in my soul for a long time".
Haley's defence was based on the premise that if he had done what was alleged, he would have told police about it when he was admitting his other crimes.
Mr Mitchell said the girl did not remember anything Haley told the detective in his police interview, and instead came up with a "distinct set of allegations".
However, there was no logic in hiding them when he was "purging himself of guilt", and the allegations were "no worse" than the admissions he had already made, he said.