Jury convicts man on 9 sex charges

A man has been found guilty of nine sex charges involving two victims, at the end of an eight-day jury trial in the Christchurch District Court.

Nikora Martin, 37, who lives in Christchurch with his children, was remanded in custody for sentencing on July 10 on four charges of doing an indecent act on a young person, two of rape, one of sexual violation, and two of indecent assault.

The jury had deliberated for about 11 hours before delivering its verdicts. Martin was discharged on one charge because the jury could not agree, and found not guilty on 11 other charges. The jury returned majority verdicts on three of the charges.

Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier said a prison term was now inevitable and Judge Kellar accepted that with the remand in custody and an indication that the starting point would be well in excess of the two-year limit for home detention to be considered.

Defence counsel Simon Shamy had asked for bail for Martin during the remand for sentencing, saying that his client had been on bail for two years awaiting trial, without any difficulties. He said the two woman complainants lived outside Christchurch.

Judge Kellar gave Martin a first-strike warning under the system that imposes heavier sentences on offenders who are convicted again.

Most of the charges were representative indicating the offending had occurred more than once. The charges involved offending on various dates between 2010 and 2016. Martin was found guilty of indecency for kissing and touching one girl from age of 11, and digitally penetrating and raping her, and for touching another woman.

Martin was found not guilty on a charge of indecently assaulting a third complainant.

Judge Kellar thanked the jury for its work and its attentiveness during a difficult trial.