The operator of a Kapiti Coast cleaning company has been jailed for sexual violation and attempted rape involving two young girls.
In Wellington District Court last month, Mr Clean owner-operator Michael Ashcroft was sentenced to five years and six months behind bars after pleading guilty to sexual violation against an 8-year-old girl and the attempted rape and indecent assault of a girl when she was aged between 8 and 12.
Judge Bill Hastings said the facts of Ashcroft's offending, "did not make for comfortable reading".
Ashcroft, 52, met one of the victims when she was 2 or 3 years old. The sexual violation occurred in his bedroom in 2002, when she was 8 and he was 41.
"You robbed her of much of the joy and innocence of childhood," the judge said.
Ashcroft attempted to rape the other victim in 1980 when she was 10 and he was 19, and indecently assaulted her between 1978 and 1982.
The offending stopped when she ran away from home at 13.
Reading her victim impact statement was a long-awaited moment for the now 44-year-old woman.
She told the court, "I have waited over 30 years for this day . . . to finally see the justice you deserve over the horrific abuse you inflicted, not only on me but also your other victim.
"My life has been absolute hell due to the actions you chose to force on to me . . . the many flashbacks, nightmares and losses I have endured.
"I grieve for the little me that had her childhood ripped away. You deserve this chapter in your life. Your sentence will never be as long as mine. I will live with what you have done for the rest of my life.
"I get the life sentence . . . my hope is that you will suffer even a small amount of the suffering I have had to endure," she said.
The woman told The Dominion Post that after many years of counselling she was hugely relieved she would no longer be anxious about seeing Ashcroft on the streets of Paraparaumu.
"He cannot walk outside his front door like I can . . . it is a small price to pay for my life sentence."
She hoped speaking out and challenging her abuser in court would encourage other victims to do the same.
- The Dominion Post