Man disclosed his child sex abuse offending

Court House-entranceA 20-year-old man who came forward to disclose 10 child sex abuse offences involving two small girls has been granted bail pending sentencing early next year.

Christchurch District Court Judge David Saunders ordered a report by a Corrections Department psychologist ahead of the February 11 sentencing to make a risk assessment for Christopher Michael Colin Wordsworth.

Wordsworth, who is now in employment in Christchurch, was aged under 17 or just over 17 when the offending occurred. The case is being dealt with in the District Court jurisdiction.

Wordsworth has had interim name suppression but the order was not renewed yesterday when he pleaded guilty to eight charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, and two charges of indecently assaulting one of the girls.

The girls were aged six years, and between six and eight years when the offending occurred. They are not related to Wordsworth and Judge Saunders yesterdday suppressed all details that might identify them including the location where the offending occurred.

The offending involved Wordsworth touching one of the girls, digital penetration of the vagina, anal intercourse, and forced oral sex.

Police said he threatened after one sexual violation that left the young victim bleeding, “This is not gonna be the last time.”

Another violation happened when Wordsworth found the girl during a game of hide and seek she was having with a friend.

Defence counsel Mark Callaghan is urging the court to consider a home detention sentence in spite of the seriousness of the charges.

He said the offending had come to light because Wordsworth had disclosed it himself, and he had been aged about 17 at the time. He had pleaded guilty.

He said Wordsworth was under no illusions that a jail term would be considered, but the sentence might come within the two-year range where home detention could be an option.

Judge Saunders agreed to get a pre-sentence report that will cover Wordsworth’s suitability for home detention, as well as victim impact reports, and a psychological report to assess his risk and the treatment options.

But he warned Wordsworth that the home detention report was “no indication of the outcome”.

He agreed to grant Wordsworth bail pending sentencing. He has been on bail without any breaches since the charges were laid.


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