18-year jail term for child sex abuser

File image. © Andrew Bardwell
File image. © Andrew Bardwell

Child sex victims of Shane Baylis – jailed for 18 years – have told of their drug use, suicide attempts, and manic depression.

One of them told the Christchurch District Court at the 49-year-old’s sentencing: “I blame myself for letting Shane hurt other kids.”

Both the men who read their victim impact reports in court were applauded by family and supporters in the public seats as they sat down. Their names are automatically suppressed.

Baylis stood quietly in the dock, often with his head bowed, while the sentencing by Judge Paul Kellar went ahead. The audience called out abuse when he was jailed on a total of 23 sex charges.

One man was ordered out of court for offering him a shoelace – presumably to hang himself.

People in the gallery then hugged each other and shook hands with the victims and the police officer in charge.

During the course of his jury trial, Shayne Baylis, 49, had admitted the sexual abuse relating to three boys and a girl aged between 12 and 16, and one other unknown girl. The offending all took place in Christchurch from 1994 to 2007.

He also admitted a representative charge of making a series of intimate visual recordings involving himself and seven young people.

Crown prosecutor Deidre Orchard sought 20 years as a starting point for a prison term before various other factors were considered. The defence suggested an 16-to-18-year starting point.

Mrs Orchard emphasised that there was an aggravating factor that Baylis had involved two complainants in offending against others. “It is a particularly depraved aspect of this offending,” she said. He had used children as sexual playthings.

She said the pre-sentence report indicated that Baylis had “zero insight and no real remorse”.

Defence counsel Jeff McCall said the pre-sentence report made disappointing reading, particularly because he placed blame on the victims. Even so, Baylis accepted that he had committed the offences and no-one else. A Kia Marama child sex offender programme in prison would be very beneficial for him.

One of the victims said Baylis had stolen his childhood. “From the age of 12, he intimidated me and forced me to do things that a child should never have to go through. My life will never be the same.”

He said he used drugs and had tried killing himself several times. “It is like a never-ending video in my head. It never stops.”

The other victim said Baylis had sexually assaulted him when he was aged 14. He had introduced him to drugs which were provided for sexual favours, and he had developed a severe drug addiction.

He became angry and hateful, and had assaulted other family members. “I blame Shane for putting my family at risk.”

He had been admitted to Hillmorton Hospital and diagnosed with manic depression.

He told the court: “I am going to make the most out of my life. I am not going to let him take any more of my life than he already has.”

Judge Kellar said Baylis was for sentence on sex charges “which are about as bad as it gets”. There had been extensive grooming of the victims, who were bribed with money, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. They were vulnerable and troubled children.

The victims in court had been particularly brave to read their statements. Baylis’ behaviour had had profound and life-long effects on the victims. The emotional and psychological impact on their lives had been severe.

The pre-sentence report did not make happy reading. Baylis regarded himself as “having given the victims what they wanted”, said the judge.

The victims had given evidence bravely during the trial, which ended early, on its sixth day.

He imposed an 18-year jail term with a non-parole term of nine years.

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