Man jailed for sex with teen

JAMES GREENLAND
Last updated 07:45 24/04/2013

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A Nelson "bush man" has been jailed for having sex with a 14-year-old girl he took pig hunting.

Jorin David Wells was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison in the Nelson District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to one charge of unlawful sexual connection with a young person who was in his charge. Judge David McKegg also ordered Wells to pay $2000 in reparation to the victim.

On December 15 last year Mr Wells and the girl went pig hunting, as they had done together on previous occasions. Wells drove to a skid site at a forest block near Wakefield where he stopped his vehicle and asked the girl, "should we do it?" and "should we have sex?"

When the girl said "no" Wells persisted, eventually convincing her to have sex with him.

When Wells returned home he "broke down" and confided to his partner what he had done, the court heard. She was "wild" with him and informed police, initiating the case against Wells.

Defence lawyer Mark Dollimore described Wells as a colleague and friend of the victim's father, and accepted there had been a "breach of trust".

Mr Dollimore said Wells ackowledged his offending was serious, and told the court it was the result of a "brain explosion", noting that Wells' previous convictions did not include sexual offending.

He was undergoing counselling and had been showing signs of improvement, Mr Dollimore said. "This has changed his life, and obviously the young girl's as well."

Wells had since resumed a relationship with his partner, who was in court yesterday, and moved house away from the victim and her family, to live with his partner, his 15-month-old son and her 9-year-old boy.

Crown prosecutor Sophie O'Donoghue said the offence bordered on sexual violation, despite a lesser charge being laid.

Wells "placed a vulnerable teenaged victim under significant pressure to have sex in an isolated area after she told him no several times", she said.

She said Wells had known the victim since she was a baby, and had seriously breached her and her family's trust.

He lacked insight and his belated remorse was perhaps "remorse for the position he has found himself in," she told the court.

Judge McKegg accepted that Wells was now sorry for the harm he caused, though he suspected along with the Crown that his remorse was "more than a little tinged with sadness for the predicament [he was in]".

It was understandable that the girl thought the situation was "totally weird", and that she couldn't understand nor cope with the situation, Judge McKegg said.

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Although it was accepted by both counsel that the girl consented to have sexual intercourse with Wells, that was hard to see, Judge McKegg said.

"Consent under duress is not consent at all."

He said the victim and her family had suffered considerable emotional harm as a result of Wells' actions.

"You were entrusted with the welfare of that girl and you breached it.

"There was a gross assault on the innocence of the girl concerned".

- The Nelson Mail

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