PHOTO: The former real estate agent in his 60s said he was sorry as he was sentenced to jail. STOCK FILE
According to the NZHERALD For two years, a trusted grandfather touched his young granddaughters in the car, while they played together, and when he put them to bed.
He tried to rape one girl twice, but failed both times.
The former real estate agent in his 60s said he was sorry as he was sentenced to jail at the Auckland District Court on Friday.
“Words cannot express how deeply sorry he is for what he has done to the girls and their families,” he said through his lawyer.
Judge Evangelos Thomas granted the man permanent name suppression on grounds that naming him would identify the victims.
According to a court summary, the first victim was 11 when he put his hand down her pants and rubbed her privates.
He also made her touch his penis when he was putting her to bed.
She considered him her grandfather – she was fostered by the man’s son before the man and his wife later took her in.
The second victim, his step-granddaughter, was also 11 and 12 when he touched her inappropriately many times.
They would be in the car, playing outside with a ball, painting pine cones, or playing inside with toy cars.
He also rubbed her buttocks when he was mowing the lawn.
On two occasions, he tried to rape her but failed.
“It didn’t just happen once – this was not a momentary lapse – but part of a pattern of conduct over time,” Judge Thomas said of the offending.
The man’s lawyer Paul Borich KC said this was a fall from grace for his client, who had lived a blemish-free life for more than 60 years.
He pleaded guilty at the earliest possibility and did not try to hide what he has done from his family or the public.
“He walked into the police station and effectively confessed to everything,” Borich said.
A number of the man’s family, friends and associates sat in the public gallery – some of whom have their own young children but have nevertheless written letters of support for him despite what he has done, the court heard.
Judge Thomas accepted the man’s remorse was genuine, backed up by his letters to the court and his confessions to his family and the police.
He has also sought treatment with a counsellor and psychologist.
The judge acknowledged the man’s previous good character with a caveat. “We know from [what you have done] the last two years that you aren’t the good person everybody thought you were,” he said.
He sentenced the man to five years and eight months in prison, saying jail will be harder for him than most because of his age and his type of offending.
Where to get help:
If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone, contact Safe to Talk confidentially, any time 24/7:
• Call 0800 044 334
• Text 4334
• Email email@example.com
• For more info or to web chat visit safetotalk.nz
Alternatively contact your local police station – click here for a list.
If you have been sexually assaulted, remember it’s not your fault.
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