'Sinister overtones' in Terrence Raymond Rawson, 56, approaching child at Central Otago holiday programme

Terrence Rawson was charged with assault for touching a 7-year-old girl.
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Terrence Rawson was charged with assault for touching a 7-year-old girl.

He told staff he was "just looking" when confronted over why he was on the school grounds.

The next day, Terrence Raymond Rawson returned and struck up a struck up conversation with a 7-year-old girl. He later put his hand on her thigh, which she later described to her mother as feeling like a "tarantula".

Rawson, 56, of Rangiora, appeared via AVL in the Dunedin District Court on Thursday afternoon, where Judge Michael Crosbie said there were "sinister overtones" to his offending.

The court heard Rawson drove to a Central Otago town on January 10 with the purpose of helping a friend with maintenance work.

READ MORE: Assault at school holiday programme

The next day he entered the grounds of a primary school, later speaking to children on a holiday programme despite no connection with the school.

He told a concerned member of staff he was "just looking", and returned the next day and struck up conversation with a seven-year-old girl.

Rawson asked her a number of personal question, and later gave her a lolly and touched her right thigh. 

Rawson later pulled her ankle towards him to look at a scab, which prompted an assault charge from police.

For that Rawson was sentenced to 12 months intensive supervision and ordered to pay court costs.

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"You have stolen part of her innocence," Crosbie said.

During that incident a staff member recognised him, with Rawson later turning his back on the girl and pretending to look at his phone.

He walked towards her as she left on her scooter. The child said he asked her to go with him.

​A staff member later saw him going behind a tree and shed where he watched people play basketball.

​The court heard Rawson had taken steps to address his offending and engaged the services of a psychologist.

The girl's mother said in her victim impact statement she was pleased he admitted what he did.

The victim's mother "rather charitably" hoped Rawson would get the help he needed, Crosbie said.

 

 

 - Stuff

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