Offender's jail term trimmed

Last updated 05:00 25/03/2014

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A man who sexually violated an 8-year-old girl at Oreti Beach near Invercargill has had his jail term trimmed because of a sentencing calculation error.

In the Invercargill District Court in September, Judge Kevin Phillips sentenced Jordan Storm Pavlovich for sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, to five years and six months' jail. The offending took place on February 2 last year.

Pavlovich appealed against his sentence. A Court of Appeal decision, made public yesterday, reduced the term to five years and one month.

Pavlovich had argued that the starting point of 7 years was too high and the judge made errors in calculating and applying discounts. But the decision says the starting point identified by the judge was "well within range".

"We therefore dismiss Mr Pavlovich's challenge to the starting point identified by the sentencing judge." But, the judge did make calculation errors when applying discounts to the starting point, it says.

"Here the judge, having fixed a starting sentence which is within the available range and determined appropriate mitigating factor discounts, has made an arithmetical error in calculating those discounts. In these circumstances, we think it is appropriate for that error to be corrected on appeal."

At the sentencing in September, Judge Phillips explained Pavlovich's offending. On February 2 last year, Pavlovich was at Oreti Beach with his partner and her children when he went to the sand dunes looking for one of the children, he said.

He approached an 8-year-old girl in a secluded area and sexually violated her, Judge Phillips said.

When questioned by police, he denied it but the following day said he was with the girl but could not remember what he had done.

The judge said Pavlovich's lawyer, Peter Redpath, had said he had consumed alcohol and synthetic cannabis before the offence.

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