Jurors offered counselling after sex trial

Last updated 13:04 30/07/2014

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Jurors have been offered counselling after reaching mainly majority guilty verdicts in an eight-day child sexual abuse trial.

Christchurch District Court judge Alistair Garland excused the jurors from any further jury callups for five years, if they wished.

He said he realised the trial had been unpleasant and distressing, and it had gone well over the five days originally planned.

Before releasing the jurors, the judge told them: "If any of you afterwards would like to access any counselling that I am informed by the Ministry of Justice is available, mention it to a court staff member when you are leaving."

Judge Garland thanked them for their work, which they had carried out diligently to bring the case through to verdicts.

He appreciated that jury service could be inconvenient, difficult, and a very stressful and unpleasant duty.

The 46-year-old man on trial was found guilty on 20 of the 22 charges remaining in the indictment. In 17 cases the jury returned 11-1 majority guilty verdicts. Several more charges had been dismissed during the course of the trial.

The man was found not guilty on two charges of doing an indecent act with a young person.

The jury had heard evidence about offending in Christchurch between 2003 and 2008, involving two girls who were aged under 12.

The man was found guilty of attempted sexual violation, indecent assault, sexual violation, and doing an indecent act.

Judge Garland remanded him in custody for a pre-sentence report and sentencing on September 10.

At the request of Crown prosecutor Kathy Basire, the judge granted interim name suppression, which Judge Garland said would have to re-argued at sentencing.

Allister Davis appeared for the defendant.

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- The Press

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