A television personality's appeal against his conviction and
sentence for indecently assaulting his 4-year-old daughter
has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal.
The man, whose name is suppressed to protect the identity of
his daughter, had pleaded guilty to one count of committing
an indecent act on a child.
He was originally discharged without conviction in the
Auckland District Court, but public outrage prompted a High
Court review which led to a home detention sentence of eight
Sentencing Judge Mark Perkins said in July the revised
sentence would reflect the man's "culpability and
The man had arrived home drunk from a work Christmas party
and fell asleep with his partner in their bed. His daughter
later got into bed with them.
He pulled down her underwear and nappy and then kissed her
body several times. When his partner woke, he said he thought
it was her he had kissed.
During the appeal hearing in Wellington in September, the
man's lawyer, Marie Dyhrberg, told the Appeal Court his
sentence was out of proportion because it would cost him his
But Crown prosecutor Lisa Preston said Judge Perkins did not
err in assessing the man's offending as grave.
She said aggravating factors were that the little girl was
his daughter and she was very young.
The appeal decision said a complicated factor in the matter
was that the comedian had pleaded guilty to the charge on the
basis of a sentence indication that a non-custodial sentence
would be imposed.
The justices also said the man had addressed his alcohol
abuse problem and faced up to the enormity of his actions.
"He is a talented person who committed what was undoubtedly a
one-off, out of character offence.
"On the other hand, intoxication is not an available
explanation for this offending and, on any view the offending
was serious and requires both denunciation and
They said if the comedian had not been sentenced to home
detention he would have been given a short jail term.
"We do not see any of the community-based options as being
sufficient to reflect the need for denunciation and
The man was to report to police by January 3 to make
arrangements for serving his sentence.