Man who groped woman in retirement village jailed for a year

In the Palmerston North District Court, Calon Mackie Edwards was sentenced to a year in prison.
STUFF

In the Palmerston North District Court, Calon Mackie Edwards was sentenced to a year in prison.

A man who groped a retirement village resident and tried to touch a woman's breast outside a shopping centre is off the streets.

Judge Patrick Treston described Calon Mackie Edwards' offending as "disturbing reading" when sentencing him in the Palmerston North District Court on Thursday to a year in jail.

Edwards, 45, had earlier pleaded guilty to assault, indecent assault, burglary and doing an indecent act with intent to offend.

He was outside Palmerston North's Downtown shopping centre on March 4 when he approached a woman he did not know.

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He said she had nice eyes and started making small talk, before asking her about her underwear.

He ignored her request to be left alone, instead asking if she wanted to have sex before placing his hand on her shoulder and trying to touch her breast.

She pushed Edwards away and he said sorry, before walking away.

He was arrested and charged, later being taken to Palmerston North Hospital's mental health ward, ward 21.

But he was offending again four hours after leaving the ward on May 16, assaulting a man he came across on the street by putting him in a headlock and punching him in the head and stomach.

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He made his way to the Lutheran Village rest home the next day, where he found a woman on her back porch.

She refused his request for the pair to go inside, before he asked her to unzip her jacket.

She did so, thinking it was for cultural reasons, at which time Edwards indecently assaulted her, only stopping when people came to the woman's aid.

The judge read excerpts from her victim impact statement, saying she suffered no physical injuries, but was shocked by the offending.

She thought Edwards had a sexual problem and hoped he would get help from his family.

"That seems a vain hope at this stage," the judge said.

Edwards had an eight-page criminal history, including at least one previous offence for indecent assault from 2006.

Defence lawyer Mark Alderdice said he was concerned Edwards had offended so soon after leaving the mental health ward.

While Edwards had a brain injury from lack of oxygen, he also suffers from impulsivity and lack of foresight.

There had also been no mental health screening report prepared for the court, Alderdice said.

"That's not just a head injury.

"What has happened in ward 21? Why was he released and immediately this serious offending occurs?

"There is obviously something there that needs to be sorted."

Community and justice liaison nurse Grahame Stillwell said Edwards had been using substances, including methamphetamine, about the time of the offending.

"Some people with a brain injury can't afford to use substances."

The judge also gave Edwards a warning under the three strikes legislation for violent offenders.

 - Stuff

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