Extra sentence for high risk offender

File image. © Andrew Bardwell

A 54-year-old man still assessed as a high risk of violent and sexual offending after doing the Kia Marama programme twice, has been sent back to jail for another long term.

David John Gay is already serving an open-ended term of preventive detention for child sex offending and has been held in jail beyond the non-parole term set at his 2008 sentencing.

He was next due to appear before the Parole Board in May for his possible release to be considered for a third time.

In the meantime, he has disclosed sex offending dating back to the 1980s and 1990s against two more girls. After revealing the offending during his second rehabilitation course, he has pleaded guilty to three more charges and faced another sentencing before Justice Cameron Mander in the High Court at Christchurch yesterday.

Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said Gay posed such a high risk that a second sentence of preventive detention – with another non-parole term – should be imposed for the protection of the community.

Defence counsel Michael Starling said the outcome of the sentencing was largely academic. The new non-parole term would determine when he would next have a chance to go before the Parole Board, whether it was part of a preventive detention sentence or a finite jail term. The board would decide on his release.

Mr Starling said: “He could be still in jail 10 years from now, in terms of the progress he still has to make.”

Justice Mander commented: “We don’t know how long (he will serve). It could be forever.”

Gay has a long history of offending against small girls. He was jailed in 2003 for sexual violation, indecent assault, and an indecent act.

Soon after his release under an extended supervision order in 2007 he abducted a sleeping child. His first course at the Kia Marama programme in prison for child sex offenders had failed to prevent the reoffending.

He was sentenced to preventive detention for that offending in 2008, with an eight-year non-parole term. While doing his second Kia Marama course, he disclosed the older offending involving two more young girls. He admitted charges of indecent assault and sexual violation.

The victims were now grown women and said that the impact of the offending had stayed with them. It had affected their ability to develop relationships, and one said it had “messed my whole life up”.

New health assessors’ reports – prepared by psychiatrists – assessed Gay as a high risk of further violent or sexual offending. One said he appeared to “glory” in his lack of remorse.

At his last appearance before the Parole Board, in 2016, the board noted a marked improvement in his attitude and motivation but it still decided to keep him in jail for two more years before he would be considered again.

That appearance before the board was meant to take place in May 2018, but yesterday Justice Mander decided that he would impose another five-year seven-month jail term with a non-parole term of three years.

The judge decided that imposing a second preventive detention term would be “disproportionately severe”.

Because he is a serving prisoner, there is no reduction for his time in custody awaiting sentence. Gay will not be eligible to go back before the board until December 2020, and if he is ever released he will remain a registered child sex offender for the rest of his life.

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