Open-ended jail term for repeat sex offender

Thirty years of sexual offending against women and children has led the court to impose an open-ended preventive detention sentence on a 52-year-old man.

The man’s criminal history lists sex charges involving seven children.

Justice Cameron Mander imposed preventive detention at the man’s sentencing in the High Court at Christchurch, and ordered that he serve at least seven years before he can be considered for release.

He said the man had shown a lack of insight into his offending, and his continuing denials made the prospect of any success from further treatment negligible.

Preventive detention meant he would not be released until there was “a degree of confidence that the safety of the community would not be placed at risk”, the judge said.

The man has name suppression. He was found guilty of two charges of rape and unlawful sexual connection against the same woman at the end of a five-day jury trial in June. All the charges were representative, meaning the alleged the offences were committed repeatedly.

The man has already served a series of prison terms for sexual offending, including sexual offences against seven children.

Crown prosecutor Mitchell McClenaghan said the sentence was necessary to protect the community. He said one health assessor rated the man’s risk of further sexual offending as “medium to high”. His offending was seen as “strongly driven by sexual deviancy”. Another assessor saw him as a moderate risk of further offending.

Defence counsel Ethan Huda said the man’s experiences as a child led him to offend. He had responded well to a Kia Marama treatment programme about child sex offending.

The woman said in her victim impact statement that she had been fearful of encountering the man again. She said his “continual anger and psychotic behaviour” had made her fear for her life and the life of her children.

She had been diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder. She was now married, but remained highly scared of being intimate. She suffered from anxiety and panic attacks.

Justice Cameron Mander said the man had been raised in a harsh and unforgiving environment and had been subjected to abuse. He had since described himself as “feeling different to others and never fitting in”.

His offending began in his teenage years, involving children, including the rape of a 14-year-old girl. His latest offending involved an adult woman. There was an escalating use of force and violence.

He noted the assessments of the man being a moderate-to-high risk of further sexual offending. He had a history of his own abuse, followed by substance abuse, and suicide attempts. He had not offended against children since he completed the Kia Marama programme and was released from prison in 2002.