A Dunedin man has been sentenced to seven and a-half years'
jail for sexually molesting a young boy for more than three
Wayne William Smith, 55, was last month found guilty on three
charges of sexual violation and six of engaging in sexual
conduct with a young person. He was acquitted on four other
sexual conduct charges.
The jury heard Smith had a shared hobby interest with the
boy, bought gifts for him and had contact with him through
the scouting movement.
During the trial in the Dunedin District Court, the boy said
he was expected to allow the defendant to touch him as
payment for the gifts.
Smith denied that. He alleged the boy had been blackmailing
him, threatening to accuse him of inappropriate touching
unless he gave him money or bought him gifts.
At sentencing yesterday, Judge John Macdonald said the case
was "tragic in many ways".
Smith had not only abused the boy's trust but that of his
family. His parents felt guilty because they did not realise
what had been happening to their son.
And a clinical psychologist reported the offending continued
to have a significant effect on the now-teenage boy who had
developed severe anxiety, obsessive compulsive behaviours,
difficulties with confidence and decision-making, problems
with his schoolwork and difficulties with trusting men.
He would have expected some "expression of outrage" from
Smith when he was confronted with the reality that the boy
had disclosed, the judge said.
"But there was none of that," he told the defendant.
Smith appeared to have cultivated his friendship with the boy
and had taken advantage of the boy's particular hobby
interest. The offending spanned the period from February 2009
to April last year, when the boy was aged between 10 and 13
and reflected sexual conduct by Smith "over a significant
time", the judge said.
At trial, the boy presented as a hesitant and reluctant
witness, "embarrassed and overwhelmed" at having to give
evidence. There was no motive for him to have made up
allegations against the defendant, Judge Macdonald said. And
he sensed that, right to the end, the boy was accepting some
sort of blame.
"There was no need to," the judge said.
He told Smith the aggravating features of the offending were
its scale, the length of time involved, the abuse of trust of
the boy and his family, the boy's vulnerability because of
his age, the premeditation and the significant grooming
involved, the ongoing problems caused to the victim and the
impact on his parents.
The only thing in Smith's favour was his previous good record
and the fact he had made "a significant contribution" to the
"Nobody would have suspected you were doing what you did to
the boy," Judge Macdonald told Smith.
He agreed with Crown counsel Craig Power the appropriate
starting point for sentence was eight and a-half years. He
also agreed with defence counsel John Westgate the defendant
was entitled to credit for his previous good character.
Mr Westgate said Smith maintained his innocence, although he
was aware of what that meant "further down the track".
Judge Macdonald allowed Smith a 12-month deduction for the
mitigating matters and sentenced him to seven and a-half
years jail on the three sexual violation charges and five
years' jail for sexual conduct with a young person, all terms
to run concurrently.
Smith has already been given a warning under the "three