Five years' jail for sexual abuse

A Tariki man was jailed for five years yesterday when he appeared in court for sentencing on historical sexual abuse charges.

Damian Shane Thompson, 30, appeared before Judge Allan Roberts in the New Plymouth District Court.

Thompson was found guilty of two charges of unlawful sexual connection with a person under aged 16 and one of sexual conduct with a young person, following a trial last year. He had pleaded guilty to two further charges of doing an indecent act, which related to a second victim.

Crown prosecutor Justin Marinovich said the charges related to serious offending.

"In sentencing terms that is termed rape," Mr Marinovich said.

Thompson's offending involved a breach of trust and degree of premeditation, he said.

"There is that conscious decision to go forward and offend as he has."

Mr Marinovich sought a jail term of between six and eight years and urged the judge to consider the effect Thompson's offending had had on his victims.

Defence lawyer Susan Hughes QC argued Thompson's offending was opportunistic rather than premeditated.

Judge Roberts said he acknowledged Thompson's claim he had been sexually abused and he was only a young man himself at the time of his offending.

He sentenced Thompson to five years' imprisonment on each sexual violation charge, 12 months for sexual conduct with a young person and nine months on each charge of doing an indecent act.

The sentences are to be served concurrently.

Taranaki Daily News