Woman admits sex charges

TRACEY CHATTERTON
Last updated 11:51 15/11/2012

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A Hawke's Bay woman who spent two weeks on the run with a 14-year-old girl has admitted charges of unlawful sexual connection with her.

Appearing in the Napier District Court this morning, Leanna Marie Hodgetts, 39, pleaded guilty to depriving a parent of her child and twice having an unlawful sexual connection with the girl. A third charge was dismissed along with a theft of a vehicle charge.

Hodgetts and the girl left Hawke's Bay in May. They then ignored pleas from family members to come home.

A fortnight later, the girl turned up at a Havelock North retirement village. Police found Hodgetts in Featherston the next day.

Judge Geoff Rea said Hodgetts' conviction would be her first strike under the three strikes law.

He warned that any re-offending that resulted in a second strike would see her serve a jail term without parole.

A third strike would bring a mandatory maximum sentence with no parole.

Judge Rea ordered a pre-sentence report with appendices to investigate the suitability of a community based sentence but said there was "certainly no promises".

Hodgetts was remanded in custody until next month for sentencing.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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