A Christchurch businessman who preyed sexually on teenage girls – including Child, Youth, and Family runaways – has admitted 12 charges just as his jury trial was due to begin.
Christchurch District Court Judge Tom Gilbert told 62-year-old John Michael Condon that his guilty pleas meant that the seven victims would not have to face giving evidence at the scheduled four-day trial. The jury had already been selected.
The judge told the jury: “It is happy news when someone accepts responsibility and we don’t need seven young ladies to come here and give evidence.”
Condon, who owned the CRC Salvage business, has been remanded in custody for sentencing on October 16. Judge Gilbert asked for victim impact statements from the girls, and referred the case for possible restorative justice meetings where Condon would have a chance to apologise directly to the victims.
Defence counsel Anselm Williams said Condon has waived his right to a pre-sentence report, but one will be prepared if there is time. Home detention has been ruled out.
Crown prosecutor Karyn South said the offending took place when Condon was aged from 43 to 51 years. The girls included a victim as young as 12.
Condon admitted 11 charges of indecent assault, and one charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice by being involved in an attempt to dissuade a witness.
Miss South said Condon lived with his teenage son in Christchurch at the time of the offending.
He befriended a woman he met by speaking to her on the side of the road while driving his car in Linwood. He then provided alcohol and took the mother and her 13-year-old daughter on drives and bought them McDonalds.
He went into the girl’s bedroom, where she was in bed and spoke to her about boyfriends and her lack of sexual experience before taking out his penis and sexually assaulting her. The offending stopped when the mother came in.
Another girl, aged 16, was indecently assaulted by Condon stroking her breasts when he showed her “some self-defence moves”.
He approached a 15 or 16-year-old school drop-out on the street in Linwood in1999 or 2000 and offered her babysitting work. Condon actually stayed home during this “babysitting” of his teenage son, and supplied the girl with alcohol and drugs. He touched her while she was in the bath and she woke one night after becoming drunk to find that her pants and underpants had been removed. Condon unlawfully had sex with her.
In 2006, Condon approached two CYFS runaways on Colombo Street and offered them alcohol, a place, to stay, and babysitting work. One of them did babysitting work, during which Condon gave her alcohol, and bought her food, clothes, and cigarettes. He would grab her breasts and bottom and ask for oral sex.
He asked a 14-year-old girl he met in the street in Sydenham to babysit. He gave her alcohol and got her drunk and let her swim in his swimming pool. He later grabbed her breasts but she stopped him. He offered her “a lot of money” for sex and oral sex.
A 13-year-old girl who did babysitting work was offered alcohol and encouraged to swim in his pool. She could see him watching from an upstairs window. He came down to the pool and squeezed her bottom and breasts.
The girl refused Condon’s offer of money for sex and threatened to call the police. He tried to have oral sex but she refused. When he dropped her back into the city, he offered extra money if she did not complain to the police.
The seventh complainant was a CYFS runaway aged 12 and 13. Condon met her and supplied alcohol before indecently assaulting her and exposing his penis at New Brighton beach.