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Man jailed for sex assaults on child

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 05:00 01/08/2014

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A Pirongia man still denies sexually assaulting a child over an eight-year period despite being found guilty of charges by a jury.

Gobbie John Taniwha, 41, was yesterday jailed for two years and six months in the Hamilton District Court after being found guilty of four representative charges of indecent assault over several year in the 1990s and 2000s involving a victim who was of pre-school age when the offending began. Crown prosecutor Louella Dunn labelled Taniwha's offending as repetitive and persistent as he targeted the victim as often as he could.

"This happened on a very regular basis through a lot of her childhood. So it was very much an ongoing ordeal for this young complainant at the time and it no doubt robbed her of her childhood."

The offending was a "bombshell" to the victim's family when it came to light as they weren't aware of problems.

Dunn said Taniwha's offending was "at its highest level", involved "skin on skin" contact and was bordering on a more serious charge.

The victim was "an eloquent woman who spoke in a matter-of-fact way of what happened to her".

Taniwha still denied the offences, so she wasn't surprised a pre-sentence report had recommended a prison term.

Taniwha's lawyer, Ann-Marie Beveridge, asked Judge David Ruth to consider a home detention sentence after classifying the offending as "moderate" due to it being absent of detainment, threats or violence. Her client had also offered reparation of $5000 to the victim for emotional harm. It had been rejected.

The judge said Taniwha faced a range of other charges, at trial involving two victims.

However, he was either found not guilty or the jury could not decide on verdicts, so they were dismissed.

He also noted that Taniwha did give his victim various "treats", including money.

The offending had left the victim feeling as though she didn't want to live and struggled to move on with her life, he said.

In sentencing, the judge said he had to denounce Taniwha's behaviour and show it would not be tolerated in a civilised society.

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- Waikato Times

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