An artist who sexually abused two girls - one while she was shackled and the other while she slept - has been sent to prison for more than five years.
Brendan Nolan, 55, of Paekakariki, north of Wellington, admitted sexually violating the young girls in 1999 and 2001 before his metal artworks became landmarks on the Kapiti Coast.
While he continued living his life, his victims struggled to cope with theirs.
"I can't sleep and barely eat," his second victim said in Wellington District Court yesterday.
"I don't trust anyone, I jump when people come too close and I hate it when they touch me. This man stole something from me, something I can't put into words, but I know I'll never get it back."
She had been subjected to degrading acts at Nolan's workshop while her hands were suspended from shackles and from a metal chandelier.
The first victim's mother said in a letter that having to relive the abuse for the courts had a devastating effect on her daughter.
Her daughter would stay at Nolan's house overnight and he would wait for her to fall asleep before carrying her to his bed. The abuse occurred over a two-month period.
Nolan was confronted by a family member of the girl and admitted and apologised for what he did.
Judge John Walker sentenced Nolan to five years, three months' imprisonment on two counts of sexual violation, two of indecent assault and one of inducing an indecent act.
"There is no doubt that you have contributed to your small community by using your talent as an artist for the community. That contribution to your community can do nothing to reduce the seriousness of your offending."
He accepted Nolan's willingness to undertake treatment for the offending and for alcoholism while in prison.
Nolan crafted two-metre-high $15,000 gates for Paekakariki School in 2006, which he described at the time as "a little bit taniwha, a little bit Harry Potter-style dragon".
About five years ago, Kapiti Coast District Council commissioned him to make a $20,000, 4.5-metre-high metal tui, which marks the entrance to Paraparaumu Beach.
- © Fairfax NZ News