'He took away my childhood'

A woman who was raped when she was 11 has given an emotional statement at the man's sentencing in the Dunedin District Court today.

Peter Thomas Jeffrey (51), of Milton, was sentenced by Judge Michael Crosbie to six years and eight months' jail for sexual violation of a female under 12, in South Otago between September 1999 and September 2001.

Jeffrey was also sentenced on one charge of indecently assaulting the victim when she was 10 and two charges of indecent assault on the woman's sister, who was aged 16.

In court yesterday, the woman emotionally read out her victim impact statement, saying she felt "stupid'' and had been trying for years to forget the incidents had ever happened.

"I tried to hide all of this .., '' she said.

"He [Jeffrey] took away my childhood, he wrecked it.

"I tried my hardest to keep it a secret and I just can't do it anymore. ...

"I don't think I'll ever forgive you. I tried and I just can't.''

Judge Michael Crosbie, reading the summary of facts, said Jeffrey sexually violated the victim two months after her 11th birthday.

Jeffrey went into the victim's room while she was sleeping and began to have intercourse with her, the judge said.

When she woke and asked him to stop, Jeffrey put his hand over her mouth and continued.

Jeffrey told the victim not to tell her mother what had happened because she would not believe her.

In an earlier incident, between January 1 and September 18, 1999, when the woman was 10, Jeffrey went into the victim's room and rubbed her chest while she was asleep.

The victim could smell alcohol on Jeffrey and asked him to stop.

He continued rubbing the victim's chest and told her not to tell anyone as they would not believe her.

The woman had since suffered from drug and alcohol abuse and was taking medication for high blood pressure, she said.

"I just don't understand why you took my childhood away from me.

"I often sit and wonder what my life would have been if you hadn't come into it, if you hadn't shattered it.

"I still struggle with nightmares, I lay awake wondering what's going to happen when you get out [of prison].

"I'm going to beat this, Pete. You're not going to take any more of my life away from me.''

Jeffrey was sentenced to concurrent two-year jail terms on the three charges of indecent assault.

The assaults on the second victim occurred in the same house between April 2003 and April 2004.

In the first incident, Jeffrey put his hands on the woman's breasts and said "you know you want this''.

She pushed him away and he left the room.

Jeffrey later went back into the room and again put his hands on her breasts and over her pants.

Jeffrey's counsel, Sarah Saunderson-Walker, said the defendant had come to accept responsibility for his actions since he was arrested in December, having initially denied the offending.

He had suffered a heart attack in 2012 and was forced to give up work due to poor health, she said.

His poor health had continued while he had been in custody and his initial sentencing was adjourned as he was in hospital with a lung infection.

Judge Crosbie said the sentencing would go some way toward bringing closure to the two victims.




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