Sex crimes against 8-year-old

A 68-year-old man was sent to prison for 23 months in the Blenheim District Court yesterday, after earlier admitting sex offences against an 8-year-old girl.

The Blenheim man, who was granted final name suppression, had admitted five charges of indecent assault relating to the girl as well as four charges of committing an indecent act with intent to insult. There was a further charge of indecent assault on a 19-year-old woman.

In sentencing the man, Judge Bruce Davidson said the offences against both victims had involved a "significant breach of trust".

In relation to the 8-year-old, the court heard that the man took advantage of her while she was visiting her grandparents, who lived nearby.

The man was known to the victim.

The offending took place between April and December 2010, when she would visit his home.

Offending during this period became progressively more serious, from "voyeuristic" behaviour to skin-on-skin contact to simulation of intercourse, Judge Davidson said.

In relation to the 19-year-old victim, the man had been "opportunistic" in his offending, indecently touching the woman and asking her for sex when she visited his home.

In meetings with probation officers the man had shown a tendency to blame his victims and minimise his actions, Judge Davidson said.

However, his pleas of guilty and his willingness to participate in rehabilitation programmes showed the beginnings of insight and remorse on his part, the judge said.

Judge Davidson sentenced the man to 23 months' imprisonment on five charges of indecent assault relating to the 8-year-old girl, one year on the four charges of committing an indecent act, and three months for indecent assault relating to the 19-year-old victim.

The sentences were to be served concurrently and would be followed by six months' post-release conditions.

The Marlborough Express