Family support for Opawa park offender

Hansen Park-OpawaFamily members are standing by a 63-year-old Avondale man who has admitted masturbating in front of two women in Hansen Park, Opawa.

Martin Paul Robson’s son was with him at his sentencing in the Christchurch District Court today on two charges of doing an indecent act in a public place.

Another family member was with him when he entered his guilty plea on September 23.

After police caught him, Robson admitted he occasionally masturbated in the park but said he did not mean to offend anybody.

Defence counsel Kirsten Gray said today Robson was “incredibly remorseful and embarrassed” and accepted that his actions must have been quite frightening to the two women. He was motivated to attend counselling and had the support of his family.

She said Robson had had a total laryngectomy to remove a cancer and was now learning to talk again, with difficulty.

Judge Brian Callaghan said it was “actually quite impressive” that Robson’s family was standing by him. “Often in these cases families disown their own and you are fortunate if they are standing by you.”

It was a sad case for the victims who had to put up with this deviant behaviour, he said. “But there was no suggestion you were going to lay a hand on them or anything like that.” He noted that Robson had earlier convictions for similar offending.

He imposed a term of 18 months intensive supervision with a special condition that Robson undertake counselling as directed by his probation officer.

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