One of the oldest men to be sentenced for historic sexual abuse has escaped jail.
The 89-year-old Wellington man had pleaded guilty to 42 charges of doing indecencies to girls and boys, attempted rape and unlawful sexual connection from between 1973 to 1991.
Six of his victims told a judge how his ongoing abuse had affected them - from hating the smell of the gingernut biscuits he used to give them, to never taking her children to McDonald's because it now had a foul taste to her.
Most of his victims were in court to see him sentenced.
They said they felt angry and betrayed, felt isolated as children and felt unable to have normal relationships with men.
"You were a monster preying on the vulnerable,'' one told the man.
Wellington District Court judge Peter Butler gave him a year's home detention.
The man has interim name suppression to allow him to decide if he wants to appeal the judge's ruling that suppression should lapse.
Judge Butler said the man had previous convictions from the 1950s for obscene exposure and attempted indecent assault.
The judge said the man's health was now declining as were his mental faculties, but he had been found fit to stand trial, which had led to his guilty pleas.
However, the man continued to deny he had done anything wrong and while the victims were reading their statements muttered "no" and shook his head.
Judge Butler said his reaction led him to believe that he did not understand the gravity of the offending and the long-lasting effects on the victims.
Crown lawyer Geraldine Kelly said the scale of the offending and the number of victims was aggravating and he should still be sent to prison.
She said however that it was understood that he had to be sentenced as he would have been at the time.
The man's lawyer Letizea Ord said the man had offered $30,000 that could be used for reparation.
The judge ordered that the money be paid to the victims.
- The Dominion Post