Suppression for Port Hills offender

A man who indecently assaulted eight women exercising on the Port Hills has been allowed final suppression that will keep his identity secret.

He was sentenced to 300 hours of community work by Judge Jane Farish in the Christchurch District Court today, and placed on supervision for a year after admitting the eight charges.

But the judge decided that the 64-year-old man would be allowed final suppression because of the effects publication would have on him and his prospects for rehabilitation, and on his wife and children.

The media were allowed to publish that he is a refugee of Middle Eastern extraction but the judge has suppressed his ethnicity and his religion.

She was also critical of the media's coverage of the case.

"The misnomer 'Port Hills groper' has vilified you in relation to this offending," she told the man. "It has portrayed your offending at a level which has never been claimed by any of the complainants."

The man had admitted touching the breasts of seven women and the bottom of another. He had kissed or licked some of the victims.

Judge Farish said it appeared from the psychologist's report that "cultural ambiguities" may have led to some of the offending.

The man will have to carry out any treatment or counselling as directed by community probation to reduce his risk of reoffending.

Judge Farish said she expected probation to liaise with Migration Services about arrangements for the man's reintegration into New Zealand society.

The Press