Andrew Jennings in the dock at the Dunedin District Court
yesterday. Photo by staff photographer.
A Palmerston man who ''groomed'' and sexually violated a
young girl over two years will be in jail for less than a
decade, but his victim faces a lifetime inside her own prison,
Judge Kevin Phillips says.
He sentenced 35-year-old Andrew George Jennings in the
Dunedin District Court yesterday to nine years and nine
months' jail after Jennings had earlier admitted 45 charges
in relation to offending at Palmerston between February 2011
and June last year.
He admitted six counts of sexually violating the girl, five
of doing an indecent act on her, three of making
objectionable recordings and 31 of possessing objectionable
Judge Phillips said Jennings was a ''predator'' and his
''horrendous'' offending involved ''significant and ongoing
''Once you got her trust, you victimised her, she was used by
you to sexually arouse you and for you to be able to indulge
in sexual fantasies. She's thought every day what occurred to
her was her fault, not your fault, and she's in prison (in
that respect) for the rest of her life,'' Judge Phillips
''One can only wonder what impact this will have on this
victim throughout her life,'' he said.
Jennings met the girl when she was aged 9 and began offending
against her when she was 11.
He gained her trust and that of her parents and was
considered part of their family.
Jennings often babysat the girl and took her to and from
She sometimes stayed overnight at his house.
The offending occurred at Jennings' home and his victim's.
''If she didn't comply, you would get angry and make her feel
that she was in the wrong. You are more than 20 years older
than the victim and she was totally vulnerable,'' Judge
Phillips told Jennings.
Last May, when the victim was 13, she told her parents about
Police found in Jennings' possession three video recordings
he had made, outlining some of the sexual acts between him
and the victim.
Also at his home were 37 pornographic DVDs and about 580
pornographic magazines displaying images which were in breach
of the censorship standard in New Zealand and had been
brought into the country illegally.
Jennings also had more than 100,000 objectionable images
stored on his computers, many of which depicted young
children, toddlers and babies.
''Numerous'' CDs recovered from Jennings' house showed
thousands of similar images, the police summary of facts
The material was at the most serious level of offending in
accordance with the Videos, Films, Publications
Classifications Act 1993, Judge Phillips said.
Jennings also had a diary containing a handwritten list of 76
websites, of which 38 had titles suggesting sexual content
relating to urinating and defecating.
''A large number of web addresses were accessed by the
defendant, pointing to pictures of naked children, and
keyword searches suggest the defendant is actively seeking
pictures of naked young girls,'' the summary stated.
Judge Phillips said Jennings did not fathom the seriousness
of his offending.
''You minimised it and put it down to overstepping the line.
Your risk of reoffending is high as you have an inability to
see the harm your offending causes.
''The harm is high, the overall scale of offending is high
and the breach of trust couldn't be any higher,'' Judge
He ordered destruction of all seized equipment, applications
and images, including magazines, in relation to the case.