Jailed for sexual violations of sister, niece

Man given a Three Strikes warning

Man given a Three Strikes warning

A young Gisborne man who sexually offended against two young girls — his niece and his sister — has been jailed for six years, five months and given a Three Strikes warning. His name will be added to a national register of child sex offenders.

The man, whose name is automatically suppressed from publication to protect the identities of the victims, was sentenced by Judge Warren Cathcart in Gisborne District Court.

The court heard one of the victims was aged 11 and 12 when the man sexually violated her (by digital penetration) on two separate occasions. The man’s similar offending against the other girl was ongoing for more than a year. She was living in the same house, where the man would sometimes get into her bed at nights.

Judge Cathcart said victim statements made sad reading. One of the girls said her life had been going well but that all changed. She couldn’t speak to anyone, felt alone and her attitude to people changed. She suddenly had a bad attitude to school and to her father. She felt disgusted, bad and “just yuck”.

She finally spoke up and told her school’s counsellor. The disclosure changed the support dynamic in her family. She had not seen her grandmother for more than a year since, which saddened her.

The judge set a starting point for the sentence of seven years, two months. The sentence needed to take account of the effect of the offending on the victims, he said. Aggravating features were the vulnerability of the girls due to their young age, the breach of trust by a family member, the scale of the offending and the repetitive nature of it.

In mitigation, counsel Alistair Clarke submitted there could be some discount for the man’s relative youth at the time of the offending — he was 20 and 21. Judge Cathcart said while he accepted discount for youth could be given even in very serious cases, there came a point when the gravity of the offending simply overrode that. In his view, this was one of those cases.

There could be discount of 10 percent (rounded up to nine months) for the man’s guilty pleas, which although not entered until the start of a week in which his trial was scheduled, had still saved costs and two vulnerable victims from giving evidence, the judge said.

A young Gisborne man who sexually offended against two young girls — his niece and his sister — has been jailed for six years, five months and given a Three Strikes warning. His name will be added to a national register of child sex offenders.

The man, whose name is automatically suppressed from publication to protect the identities of the victims, was sentenced by Judge Warren Cathcart in Gisborne District Court.

The court heard one of the victims was aged 11 and 12 when the man sexually violated her (by digital penetration) on two separate occasions. The man’s similar offending against the other girl was ongoing for more than a year. She was living in the same house, where the man would sometimes get into her bed at nights.

Judge Cathcart said victim statements made sad reading. One of the girls said her life had been going well but that all changed. She couldn’t speak to anyone, felt alone and her attitude to people changed. She suddenly had a bad attitude to school and to her father. She felt disgusted, bad and “just yuck”.

She finally spoke up and told her school’s counsellor. The disclosure changed the support dynamic in her family. She had not seen her grandmother for more than a year since, which saddened her.

The judge set a starting point for the sentence of seven years, two months. The sentence needed to take account of the effect of the offending on the victims, he said. Aggravating features were the vulnerability of the girls due to their young age, the breach of trust by a family member, the scale of the offending and the repetitive nature of it.

In mitigation, counsel Alistair Clarke submitted there could be some discount for the man’s relative youth at the time of the offending — he was 20 and 21. Judge Cathcart said while he accepted discount for youth could be given even in very serious cases, there came a point when the gravity of the offending simply overrode that. In his view, this was one of those cases.

There could be discount of 10 percent (rounded up to nine months) for the man’s guilty pleas, which although not entered until the start of a week in which his trial was scheduled, had still saved costs and two vulnerable victims from giving evidence, the judge said.

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