Sex offender faces likely ‘life sentence’

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

At the age of 67, sex offender Christopher David Williams is almost resigned to his 17-year jail term being a life sentence.

He was described at his sentencing as having been portrayed as “something of a monster” in the evidence at his trial.

Williams – jailed in the Christchurch District Court today for rapes, unlawful sexual connection, and indecent assaults – will be aged about 75 when he can be considered parole under the non-parole term imposed by Judge Brian Callaghan.

He was convicted at a Timaru jury trial, and the judge could allow him no reduction in the sentence for any guilty plea or expressions of remorse.

“One hopes that during your imprisonment, you may come to realise the enormity of what you have done,” said Judge Callaghan.

William’s defence counsel Tony Balme asked for a reduction of the sentence because of the man’s age.

“He is almost resigned to the idea that he may well die in prison, which is a very bleak outlook for any person. It may well be a realistic assessment. He sees it, as he stands there, as something of a life sentence.”

Mr Balme said family members including Williams’ daughter, stepson and the stepson’s partner were at court to support him. Family members still supported him even though the evidence at the trial portrayed him as “something of a monster”.

Crown prosecutor Andrew McRae sought a sentence of 17 or 18 years with no reductions. There had been premeditation and cruelty, and the pre-sentence report was negative with no indication of remorse from Williams.

The court was told that two girls had been victims of offending by Williams at rural South Island locations. One of the girls had become pregnant. One had been raped when she was heavily pregnant.

Judge Callaghan said the victims, who were now adults, would carry the emotional scars for the rest of their lives.

He refused to reduce Williams’ jail term because of his age.

“I don’t see that it is appropriate to give you any allowance for your age when there is absolutely no remorse or acknowledgment of the offending,” he said. “While you are of this mind, there is always the risk upon release of further offending.”

He imposed a seven-year six-month non-parole term which means Williams cannot be considered for parole until that much of his sentence has been served. He imposed the non-parole term to ensure the sentence would be long enough to hold Williams accountable for the harm he had done.

Williams was doing fruit picking work in the Tauranga area at the time of his arrest.

He had been found guilty of 12 charges: five of rape, four of unlawful sexual connection using his fingers, and three of indecent assault.

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