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A 22-year-old Dunedin man was yesterday sent to prison for four years and five months for what a judge described as "vile and reprehensible" sexual crimes against young girls.
Bevan Vincent Brown was found guilty in a Dunedin District Court trial at Invercargill earlier this year of five representative charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and one, also representative, of sexual conduct with a girl under 16.
The offending happened over three years to two victims, and started when Brown was 14.
The younger of his victims was 8 when it started. The other victim was 10.
Judge Michael Crosbie told Brown that while his sentencing would be a difficult day for him, equally it was "another" difficult day for his victims.
"I say another difficult day for them because not only did they, a jury found, suffer at your hands, they also had to tell their story three times ... they've provided a victim impact statement and they are here again today. Hopefully, this will bring some closure for them."
Brown coerced the girls into sexual acts by threatening them with violence, telling them their school lied about it being wrong and telling them they would be in trouble if their parents found out and that they would be safe with him.
What had happened had created a sad and stressful environment for the families, the judge said.
The girls had not initially disclosed the offending because they were worried about possible repercussions. The younger would lock herself in her room and cry, had flashbacks, nightmares and difficulty coping with friends, relationships and school.
"She has had counselling and can learn to cope, but feels she will never be fixed."
The older girl felt similarly and was so vulnerable and depressed she had left school early and had resorted to harming herself.
Brown still denied the offending, and showed no remorse.
The offending was made worse by several factors including that the girls were smaller and weaker than him and the offending was clearly calculated and premeditated. His age would not count in his favour in terms of the offending, but would count in his favour personally.
"You were young, but not so young you would not have been entirely aware of exactly what was going on."
His age at the time and lack of previous convictions were two factors in his favour.
Judge Crosbie gave Brown a 40% discount on an initial sentence of seven years and six months in prison, with a resulting total sentence of four years and five months' jail for the first five counts, and a concurrent sentence of three years' jail for the sixth count.