Child rapist's appeal against jail term denied

Last updated 05:00 11/06/2014

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A Taranaki man who raped and sexually assaulted two girls in the 1970s has failed to have his sentence reduced.

The man, who has name suppression, was jailed for seven years when sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court by Judge Allan Roberts in February after admitting five charges.

The man was originally charged with 13 counts in relation to his younger sister and his stepdaughter, as well as threatening to kill the brother of one of the victims and one count alleging indecency with a dog.

He pleaded guilty when the charges were reduced and the latter two counts withdrawn.

One victim, his sister, was aged between 8 and 12 years at the time of the offending.

The second victim, his stepdaughter, was raped at least 50 times when aged between 12 and 14. Her attacker was aged between 28 and 29 years at the time.

The man's lawyer, Patrick Mooney, argued that the starting point for sentencing was too high when compared with sentencing levels in the 1970s and his client should have been given more credit for his guilty pleas.

His client had attempted suicide after the accusations were made and suffered cognitive impairment and memory loss as a result and therefore needed intensive supervision which a psychiatrist determined could only be provided at home or in an institutional setting, Mooney said.

The appeal judges rejected this, saying he could be given appropriate treatment in prison.

The judges backed Judge Roberts' starting point.

"The offending . . . was extremely serious, particularly the offending against [victim B] which involved multiple rapes of a young girl over a prolonged period of time," the appeal court said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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