Sex offending sentence extended for violating cellmate

Brian Mitchell (30) was serving a sentence of 16½ years’ imprisonment when he struck again. PHOTO...
Brian Mitchell (30) was serving a sentence of 16½ years’ imprisonment when he struck again. PHOTO: ROB KIDD
A sex offender who violated his cellmate while double-bunking has had three and a-half years added to his sentence.

Brian Lewis Mitchell (30) appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful sexual connection.

But the court heard the prisoner had denied the offending during a recent interview with a psychologist and when Judge Michael Crosbie detailed the facts of the case yesterday, he shook his head.

Remorse was not something to be factored into sentencing, the judge said.

Because the conviction represented the man’s second strike under the three-strikes legislation, he will not be eligible for parole until 2028.

Mitchell had been placed in a cell with the victim three days before the incident on June 15 last year.

While the other inmate took a shower, the predator pounced.

The victim recalled washing his hair when he heard the shower curtain being pulled back.

Mitchell threw a towel over his head and forced him down over a toilet where the violation took place.

"Dat what I like,” the defendant said as he committed the crime.

According to court documents, the victim quickly dressed after the incident and Mitchell threatened him not to tell anyone about what had occurred.

However, the man received treatment for the physical soreness caused by the sex attack and police later became involved.

When Mitchell was approached by investigating officers, he remained steadfast.

"Nothing happened,” he said.

Judge Crosbie said it was difficult to determine how much planning had gone into the shower assault.

But Mitchell’s attitudes were unravelled through a series of reports before the court.

In 2018, he had been sentenced to 16 and a-half years’ imprisonment for 22 offences against a male and female child.

That offending had started at "an incredibly young age”, the judge noted.

A psychological report listed the concerning factors about Mitchell’s behaviour.

"A callous disregard for the rights of the victim, deviant sexual interests, aggressive and violent coercion, complete disregard for sanctions.”

The court heard Mitchell was raised by an aunt and uncle which would likely have led to feelings of rejection and abandonment.

His "pervasive distrust of others” would likely endure, the report said.

It assessed Mitchell’s risk of sexual reoffending as well above average.

Defence counsel Meg Scally said the fact her client had participated in the completion of the reports showed he was willing to address his issues.







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