Teen jailed for sex after warnings

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2013

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An 18-year-old dropout who continued having sex with his 13-year-old girlfriend despite warnings from both sets of parents and police has been jailed for two years.

Xenan Daniel Ratahi was immature and impulsive in continuing the relationship and in a raft of other offending, his lawyer Paul Keegan said during sentencing in the New Plymouth District Court.

At one stage there were fears the girl, who became a runaway to meet up with Ratahi and stopped going to school, had become pregnant, but this proved to be a false alarm.

She did contract a sexually transmitted disease.

Ratahi had offended spectacularly, his lawyer said, but he urged the judge to consider his client's young age and give him home detention.

Ratahi admitted sexual connection with a young person, performing an indecent act, common assault (when he attacked a member of his family at home), wilful damage, resisting arrest, theft of his father's car - taken so he could visit his girlfriend - and burglary, when he searched properties for petrol.

The girl's father, in his victim impact statement, said he was angry that his daughter had been influenced by Ratahi and wanted him to recognise the damage the liaison had inflicted on him and his family.

In sentencing, Judge Allan Roberts said Ratahi was expelled from school and had never worked. His mother was distraught with the problems he had created in their family with his disrespect and bad behaviour.

In sending Ratahi to prison, the judge also ordered alcohol, drug and psychological counselling.

Ratahi's fines of more than $800 were remitted.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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