Man jailed for multiple sex offences

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 15:21 18/12/2012

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A North Waikato man has been jailed after committing a multitude of sex offences against a four-year-old girl over a four-year period.

But it was a laborious journey for the victim to bring Trevor Bedem Phillips to justice, after one trial bought half a result.

In the first trial in June, Phillips, 55, was found guilty on one representative charge of indecent assault, acquitted on another sexual assault charge and a hung jury on two remaining sex charges.

It was on the morning of a second retrial in the Hamilton District Court last month that Phillips admitted a second representative charge of indecent assault, on the condition that the third charge would be dropped, in a deal done with the Crown.

This morning, the court heard how Phillips would stay on the couch at a Ngaruawahia house about every second weekend between March 1984 and March 1988.

The victim would get up early in the mornings, before anyone else got up, so she could watch television.

Phillips, who was then aged in his 20s, would get her on to the couch with him where he repeatedly sexually assaulted her.

Phillips' lawyer Sacha Nepe he had moved on with his life now. He was now married and lived rurally.

Phillips was also a well-respected member of the community and had strong support from family and friends.

Ms Nepe asked Judge Glen Marshall to consider a sentence of home detention, given his relatively clean record since the offending and health difficulties he currently suffered.

Judge Marshall said the effect on the victim had been huge."She basically feels she never had a childhood.

The impact on her was great and the effect of a long history of low self esteem and lack of self respect and depression and stress associated with this offending.

Judge Marshall, who described the offending as "gross", took a starting point of two years' six months, before giving Phillips three months credit for pleading guilty at the start of the retrial.He reduced it another three months because Phillips had not e-offended during the time it took the matter to get to court.

Judge Marshall said offending against children, whether it was the in 80s or 2012, would be held accountable by the courts.

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- Waikato

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