An elderly Napier man who wrote detailed diaries about his sexual offending against three young boys has been sentenced to four years and nine months' imprisonment.
The slight 84-year-old, who has name suppression, wore headphones as he stood in the dock so he could hear the sentence handed down to him in the Napier District Court today.
He starts his sentence today as one of the country's oldest prisoners.
According to the Department of Corrections there were nine prisoners aged between 80 and 84 as at September last year. The oldest was 84.
The court heard that the man performed sexual acts on boys for more than 10 years. He also encouraged one to give him sexual favours in return for money and gifts.
In December he changed his plea to guilty on the second day of his trial, admitting to 13 charges of sexual offending.
The man met his first victim when the boy's family moved next door. He was 71 when he started offending against the eight-year-old.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said the man kept graphic diaries, detailing the frequent sexual conduct and his delusional infatuation with the boys.
He said the man still failed to recognise the seriousness of his offending and that he had destroyed the victim's childhood.
Defence lawyer Russell Fairbrother denied the man was a predator. He was a "lonely" old man waiting for death who sought solace in his relationships with the boys.
It was not a "selfish sexual release" but about the long-term relationship with the boys.
"The relationship came before the sexual activity."
Fairbrother said the man was prepared to pay substantial reparation to his victims.
Judge Tony Adeane acknowledged that the man had previously led a "blameless life". Yet it was his "respectable position in the community" that allowed his offending to flourish.
"Your former good judgment deserted you."
While a lot of the sexual contact was consensual, Judge Adeane said the consent was "worthless" because the law was designed to protect young children who did not understand the gravity of their behaviour.
Judge Adeane did not accept the man's offer of reparation because it was "simply placing money where money had no worth".
- The Dominion Post