Sex offender’s appeal dismissed

Jeremy Hore was ordered to pay the person he sexually abused $5000. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
Jeremy Craig Hore sought a reduction of his sentence of two years and nine months' imprisonment. PHOTO: ROB KIDD/FILE
A sex offender who wanted a shorter sentence because he was drunk at the time of his actions has lost his appeal.

Court of Appeal Judge Jillian Maree Mallon’s judgement — released to the Otago Daily Times this week — showed the offender Jeremy Craig Hore sought a reduction of his sentence of two years and nine months’ imprisonment.

The victim was 17 at the time of offending in 2021, and he was 41.

In sentencing the appellant in June last year, Judge David Robinson identified two aggravating factors that were present to a moderate degree: premeditation — associated with a degree of determination — and the vulnerability of the victim.

He considered the offending fell within band one for unlawful sexual connection.

He adopted an overall starting point of three years and six months’ imprisonment for the offending and ordered Hore to pay the victim $5000 in emotional harm reparations.

Although he did not grant any discounts for remorse, he did discount the sentence by 20% for previous good behaviour.

The appellant submitted that Judge Robinson "minimised aspects of the victim’s behaviour that formed the foundation for the appellant’s mistaken belief that his attentions were welcome", was "wrong to describe the victim as isolated and vulnerable" and "made no allowance for the appellant’s gross intoxication that affected his judgement".

Judge Mallon disagreed with the appellant on all of these points.

"As to the relevance of alcohol, the Judge acknowledged that alcohol was likely to have been a feature in the offending when discussing premeditation as an aggravating feature of the offending, but correctly observed that this was not mitigating.

"The appellant’s offending was out of character and impaired judgement from alcohol consumption may have been a factor in this.

"But the Judge accepted the appellant’s prior good character and that this offending was a significant fall from grace and allowed a good character discount because of this."

She also reaffirmed Judge Robinson’s criticism of Hore’s behaviour.

"As for the victim’s behaviour that evening, the judge was entitled to accept the victim’s evidence that for the most part the appellant’s intentions were unwelcome.

"The victim was a young woman, at the outset of her career, and in an all-male environment where significant alcohol was consumed."

The appellant submitted that Judge Robinson was wrong to find that he did not demonstrate remorse for the harm he caused.

He wrote an apology admitting to a sexual assault charge, and since the event had not consumed alcohol and had attended counselling.

At the start of the trial Hore entered a guilty plea on the indecent assault charge.

The jury found him guilty on the assault charge and the sexual violation charge and acquitted him of the male assaults female charge.

Judge Mallon considered that an offer of a further 10% was available to Judge Robinson.

"We acknowledge that the judge was well placed to assess the appellant’s remorse but we cannot be sure that the judge turned his mind to whether the reparation warranted a discount as the judge made no reference to having taken it into account.

"Overall, we consider that the 20% for good character was an appropriate one taking into account the appellant’s remorse and payment of reparation ... we are not satisfied that the failure to also allow a discount for remorse and reparation, in addition to the 20% discount for good character, led to a manifestly excessive sentence."

The appeal was dismissed.