Man admits sex offending 53 years ago

October 1, 2016 | By More

Court House-general2A 90-year-old man has admitted child sex offending dating back as long as 53 years.

Name suppression has lifted on Ronald Edward Growcott, who had a walking stick to help him stand in the dock when he pleaded guilty at the Christchurch District Court yesterday.

Growcott admitted sexual offending against a girl from 1963 to 1971. She was aged under 16 years throughout that time.

Growcott was in the news in December when he tried to go to Australia to see his wife who remains there and is ill. He was on bail at the time.

Defence counsel Andrew McCormick said it was not a serious attempt to evade the charge he already faced because when he arrived at Brisbane Airport he had ticked the box on the arrival form saying that he had a conviction.

He was stopped at the airport and put on a flight back to Christchurch the next day.

He was held in custody for more than a month after that, but was then granted electronically monitored bail to live at an address in Christchurch.

Growcott was sentenced in May 2015 to six months’ home detention for sexually abusing two girls – some of those charges dated back 30 years.

He had been living in Brisbane but had been contacted by the New Zealand police about the sex offending allegations.

He made arrangements to see the police when he arrived on a cruise ship visiting Wellington.

The police visited him on the ship and then arrested him.

He pleaded guilty to four charges of indecent assaults or indecent acts involving those two young girls.

About the time Growcott completed that home detention sentence, he was charged with the earlier sex offending against the third girl.

Judge David Saunders yesterday accepted the guilty plea and remanded him on electronically monitored bail for sentencing on December 9.

The Crown and defence will provide submissions before that sentencing takes place. Judge Saunders said the long period spent on electronically monitored bail would be taken into account in imposing sentence.



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