Drug-affected babysitter raped six-year-old

August 11, 2017 | By More

A cannabis-affected 16-year-old youth sexually abused the six-year-old girl he was babysitting.

The youth is now 18 and has begun a two-year jail term for the rape and sexual violation of the girl in early 2015.

Documents for his sentencing, which took place in the Christchurch District Court, included an assessment that there was a connection between his harmful sexual behaviour and his use of cannabis.

Judge Jane McMeeken had seen psychological assessments and social work reports on the youth which said his cannabis dependency was now in remission, but he also met the criteria for alcohol and synthetic cannabis abuse.

The parents of the girl hoped that the youth would get the help he needed, in their victim impact statements. “They are incredibly generous statements, despite the pain that this whanau feels,” said the judge.

After the girl disclosed the offending, the youth immediately apologised and pleaded guilty. He was originally dealt with in the Youth Court and had completed part of his sentence, but in March this year he failed to turn up for judicial monitoring while on leave.

An arrest warrant was issued, and he was arrested in April when he was remanded in custody and the case was sent to be dealt with in the adult jurisdiction.

Judge McMeeken outlined the youth’s family history. His early life was traumatic. His father was jailed during his childhood, and his mother had alcohol and drug issues which led to her jailing as well. He ended up in care and suffered abuse “in various forms”.

With the father recently released from prison, the family came back together and the youth had been expected to live with his parents as he did his original sentence.

“It was never going to be easy,” said Judge McMeeken. “You had to live as a son in a family unit that had not existed since you were a tiny baby.”

He had done well at courses and had been seen as a model prisoner during his time on remand.

At a youth justice facily he was seen as a leader among his peers. “You were confident, and challenged other young people when their behaviour or attitude towards staff was poor.”

Delays in the case being dealt with had not been caused by him. His sexual offending had not been a pattern of sexually abusive behaviour but an incident of a total lack of judgment when he was under the influence of drugs.

Defence counsel Tony Greig said it was accepted that a jail term was the only option, but pointed out that the offending had occurred two-and-a-half years ago and it would have “lost a degree of meaning” for a young offender.

Prosecutor Sean Mallett said the Crown accepted a rehabilitative sentence would be the best outcome.

Judge McMeeken reduced the youth’s sentence because he had done part of the original sentence, and for his youth, his remorse, and his guilty pleas. She jailed him for two years with leave to apply for home detention if a suitable place in a residential rehabilitation programme becomes available.

She also continued the name suppression that he would have had as a youth offender, before the case was sent to the District Court.

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