The mother of a sex abuse victim has talked about the family being “emotionally slaughtered” by the offending of a man who is now beginning a five-year seven-month jail term.
The man, Desmond Elliot Hurring, 32, was jailed by Justice Rachel Dunningham in the High Court at Christchurch after admitting a charge of unlawful sexual connection with a girl aged under 12, two of making an objectionable publication, and one of possessing objectionable material.
Prosecutor Pip Norman said the Crown sought a preventive detention sentence because of the continuing risk the man posed, for his escalating pattern of offending, and his earlier refusal to attend the STOP and Kia Marama rehabilitation programmes.
However, Justice Dunningham ruled out preventive detention because of Hurring’s lack of a serious offending history, the fact that he had not yet undertaken comprehensive treatment, and his willingness now to go through treatment.
The mother said in her victim impact statement that the man’s offending had “emotionally slaughtered” the family, had slaughtered her daughter’s innocence and had also affected her son.
“My son is beating himself up for not being able to protect his little sister,” she said.
Justice Dunningham described the victim impact report as “thoughtful and helpful” and it had provided her with a “huge insight into the impact on the family”.
Defence counsel Trudi Aickin said a finite prison term was preferable. This was Hurring’s first “contact” sex offending and he acknowledged its impact on the victim and her family.
Hurring had low intellectual functioning but he accepted that he needed to address his sexual offending. “Preventive detention would simply serve to deprive him of all hope and undermine his motivation to undertake treatment,” she said.
Miss Norman said the Crown was concerned that he had earlier created a “scrapbook” of objectionable material, and had committed two burglaries with sexual motives involving girls. “He is showing a remarkable lack of insight into his offending,” she said.
Justice Dunningham said Hurring had gone to a Christchurch house and performed a sex act on a girl and had twice photographed her genitalia with his cellphone. When police investigated, they found 200 other child pornography photographs on his cellphone.
She imposed the five-year seven-month jail term, with a non-parole term of three years eight months. She declined preventive detention, noting that Hurring would be subject to an extended supervision order upon his release and he would be a registered child sex offender which imposed reporting obligations on him for the rest of his life.