Accepting wrong 'beyond intelligence' of sex-offender

A Dunedin sex offender may join another local predator in a special residence for the most high-risk criminals.

Robert John McCorkindale (65) has been under the intense scrutiny of the Corrections department since he was jailed for seven years by Justice Lester Chisholm in the High Court at Dunedin in 1999.

Justice Chisholm said McCorkindale suffered learning difficulties and social inadequacies but that did not absolve him of blame.

''None of the reports I have read indicate that it is beyond your intelligence to realise that touching anyone without their consent is not acceptable,'' he said.

''There is apparently a willingness on your part to blame others.''

He served the entire term then spent the following decade on an extended supervision order - a court-imposed measure used to allow authorities to monitor the most high-risk sexual and violent offenders.

In April 2016, that order was renewed but because of a law change, McCorkindale could only spend a year under ''intensive monitoring''.

By late 2017, the High Court granted an application to have him subject to a public protection order (PPO), the most stringent oversight available for non-prisoners.

Such an order has men housed in the Matawhaiti Residence behind the wire at Christchurch Men's Prison, although separate from the inmates.

However, McCorkindale appealed the decision on the basis Justice David Gendall did not consider a less restrictive alternative.

Justices Clifford, Gilbert and Collins, at a Court of Appeal hearing in May, agreed the lower court did not have all the ''expert assistance'' required to make a decision.

The case was sent back to the High Court for reconsideration, the PPO was quashed and McCorkindale would live at a Christchurch facility in the meantime.

While he was sent to Matawhaiti just months after its opening at the start of 2017, it was another Dunedin man who was the first to be sent there.

Glen Anthony Douglas (28) was made subject to a PPO after the court found he posed a very high risk of imminent and serious sexual or violent offending.

One health assessor said Douglas did not have the ability to self-regulate his sexual impulses and another noted his tendency to fixate on sex.

''[He] is driven in his planning, manipulation and circumvention of barriers to offending,'' another said.

While every PPO was reassessed annually, Corrections confirmed Douglas was still in residence.

McCorkindale had repeatedly targeted girls under 12 since 1987, court documents revealed.

His most recent prison term came about when he molested a 6-year-old and 4-year-old after befriending their parents.

McCorkindale made headlines in 2016 when he was moved to Lower Hutt and families in the area were vocal about a sex offender living so close to their children.

He will appear in the High Court at Christchurch next month.

Timeline

1987: Robert McCorkindale jailed for a year for abducting a child for sexual intercourse and indecent assault.

1993: Sentenced to two years eight months for indecently assaulting another girl under 12.

1999: Justice Chisholm declines preventive detention, sentences McCorkindale to seven years’ imprisonment for abusing two girls.

2006: Released from prison on extended supervision order to last a decade.

2016: The order is renewed for another 10 years.

2017: The High Court imposes a public protection order.

2019: McCorkindale successfully appeals the decision; the court will reconsider its 2017 decision.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

 

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