A man who was yesterday jailed for sex offending against two
under-age girls, will be detained in a secure hospital unit
because of his mental disability.
Jonathan David Patterson, 27, an Invercargill receptionist,
appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday and was
sentenced to three years and two months' imprisonment for
sexual offences which included having full sexual intercourse
with one of the girls.
He was also given concurrent terms of two years' jail for
having sexual connection with the 14-year-old Dunedin girl,
three months for assaulting an Invercargill girl, breaching a
restraining order by contacting her and assaulting her, and
one month on an unrelated charge of intentional damage.
For intentionally causing damage by setting fire to a beer
box, Patterson was convicted and discharged.
The defendant's intellectual disability and his assessment as
being at high risk resulted in Judge Gary MacAskill ordering
his detention as a special care recipient in terms of the
Criminal Procedure (Mentally Impaired Persons) Act, so
Patterson will serve his sentence in a secure hospital
He earlier admitted four charges of having sexual connection
with a 14-year-old girl in Dunedin in April and May this
year; having sexual connection with another young girl in
Invercargill, assaulting her and breaching a Children Young
Persons and their Families Act interim restraining order by
contacting and assaulting her in Invercargill in June.
Patterson also admitted unrelated charges of setting fire to
a beer box near some wooden flats in Beresford St, Dunedin,
overnight on February 11 and intentionally damaging a garden
belonging to a female associate.
Crown counsel Richard Smith said the offending was serious,
sexual connection with a young person being viewed as serious
violence under the "three strikes" legislation. Patterson had
offended against two separate young victims on multiple
He was aware his behaviour was wrong and tried to conceal it
by getting one of the girls to lie. And he offended against
the second girl almost immediately after an interim
restraining order was issued.
The starting point should be four years, given the age
disparity between the offender and his victims, a brief
period of grooming in terms of the first girl, the steps
taken to conceal the offending and the multiple sexual acts
committed. The fact there were two victims meant there should
be an uplift in the length of the sentence, Mr Smith said.
Prison and a compulsory care order should be the outcome.
Public defender Andrew Dawson said the care plan which called
for monitoring of the defendant would address many of the
court's concerns. Prison was accepted as the appropriate
sentence but the defendant should be under hospital care.
Judge MacAskill said Patterson did not see the offending as
problematic and apparently did not consider providing alcohol
to a minor to be inappropriate.
The Crown referred to a clinical psychologists' report which
assessed the defendant as being at high risk of re-offending
in the next five years and recommended a compulsory care
order. The report said Patterson had left supervised
accommodation in the past to lead "a hedonistic lifestyle".
The sentence imposed had to denounce and deter the
defendant's behaviour, as well as protecting young females
from him and others like him. It should also be designed to