Child sex abuser jailed for 14 years

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

A judge has lifted name suppression on a 32-year-old Christchurch man before jailing him for 14 years for sex offending on two young girls.

Elliott Brett Manning will have to serve at least half of the jail term as a non-parole term before the Parole Board can begin to consider his release from prison.

He had denied the offending and took the case to trial over five days in the Christchurch District Court in February, but was found guilty by a jury on nine charges.

The mother of the two girls – they were aged about seven and nine at the time of the offences – read a victim impact statement in court but the public gallery stayed silent as Manning was sentenced and led to the cells.

He was found guilty of rape and anal sex, digital penetration, oral sex, and several charges of doing an indecent act.

Judge David Saunders said Manning had shown the girls pornographic films from the Internet to “groom” them and “normalise” the sexual behaviour.

He said Manning had asked them to touch his genital area. There was no reason why girls of that age would have made that up unless it really occurred.

Manning admitted in a DVD recording of an interview with the police that he had a strong sex drive. His explanation for DNA evidence that was placed before the trial was “fanciful”, said the judge.

One of the girls had come close to disclosing the offending to her father but had then said it was a dream. Later, they did make the allegations against Manning.

Judge Saunders said he took into account the extent of the harm to the girls, as described in their mother’s victim impact statement and counsellors’ reports to the court.

He said Manning could be allowed no credit for his guilty pleas, remorse, or acknowledgement of the harm he had caused, because he had denied the offending and gone through the jury trial process.

Prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said the Crown believed that a minimum non-parole term should be imposed as part of the sentence and the judge agreed.

Manning will have to serve at least half of the sentence instead of the usual third, before he is considered for parole.

He has already been read the first warning under the three-strikes system that imposes heavier sentences on repeat violent or sexual offenders.

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