Grandfather 'stole my childhood', victim says

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 09:04 28/02/2013

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Family members broke down in tears as a grandfather was jailed for sexually abusing his granddaughter from when she was four.

Crown prosecutor Marcus Zintl described it as "depraved and predatory offending".

He told Judge John Macdonald at the Christchurch District Court sentencing: "The Crown is concerned at his limited insight. He seems to be more embarrassed for himself as opposed to showing any genuine concern for the victim."

The granddaughter is now in her teens. Her mother - the man's daughter - was among the family members in court to see the sentencing.

People broke down in tears as the judge briefly described what the 67-year-old had done to the girl from when she was aged four to 12 years old.

He had admitted six charges: three of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and four of indecent assault. He was jailed for six years and nine months.

The brazen offending sometimes happened while the girl's mother was in another part of the house. When the police interviewed him, he admitted the offending and said he was "weak".

Defence counsel Serina Bailey said the man accepted that a prison term was inevitable. He was in ill-health and would not find it easy in prison, she said.

Judge Macdonald said the man's expressions of remorse and empathy with the victim had not impressed the probation officer who wrote his pre-sentence report.

The girl's victim impact statement said she believed her grandfather had "stolen her childhood". She had kept the secret for years because the man told her not to tell her mother. She now had nightmares and difficulty sleeping.

"She hates you, but at the same time she senses a loss of family," the judge told the grandfather.

He ordered the man to make a $10,000 emotional harm payment which will be held in trust for his granddaughter.

The man's name was suppressed to protect the girl's identity.

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- The Press

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