Man gets home detention for indecent assault

LAURA BASHAM
Last updated 15:33 13/11/2012

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A former nationally prominent figure who has denied indecently assaulting his stepdaughter has been sentenced to seven months home detention.

The man, whose name is permanently suppressed, has steadfastly fought the three charges of indecent assault of a young person under 16  through two jury trials in the Nelson District Court.

The girl said the man stroked her right breast while watching television in the lounge of their Nelson home, and later in her bedroom indecently touched her and kissed her back on December 30 2009.

The man said none of that happened.

After the first trial last year he was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment but appealed and was released on bail.

The Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and ordered the retrial which was held in September.

Today prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue said it was a case where the Crown should respect the views of the teenager and her mother who did not want the man imprisoned.

Defence counsel Pip Hall said the case had been a tragedy on multiple levels.

Judge Peter Butler said the jury had believed the complainant. He told the man he did not consider the community needed protecting from him.

He sentenced the man to seven months home detention and ensured that conditions allowed contact with his own daughter.

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- The Nelson Mail

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