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A sexual assault victim faced her attacker in court and described how his "depravity" had robbed her of her childhood.
Reefton man Trevor Stanley Arnesen, 57, sat impassively in the dock yesterday as he was sentenced to four and a half years' jail on five charges of indecent assault, two of unlawful intercourse, one of unlawful anal intercourse and one of plying the eight-year-old victim with cannabis before engaging in sexual acts.
A Greymouth District Court jury found that Arnesen had committed the offences on a girl aged between eight and 12 years, from 1988 to 1992.
All charges were 'representative' as the Crown alleged that the unlawful sex occurred at last twice weekly over almost four years.
The complainant, now 32, read her victim impact report to the court.
She said the offending had caused great physical and emotional pain.
It impacted on her ability to succeed at school, limiting her employment opportunities, she suffered post-traumatic stress, had episodes of depression and had attempted suicide due to low self-esteem and self-worth.
"I have had to live with all the shame and guilt, even though it was not mine to carry."
Addressing Arnesen directly, the woman said: "I find it beyond belief that you show absolutely no remorse for what you have done."
Lawyer Richard Bodle said Arnesen denied the offending, and Judge David Saunders said that was apparent.
"I note that you are shaking your head and clearly are still in denial," the judge said to the offender.
The jury had heard that Arnesen had been convicted of similar offences in Invercargill and had a propensity to offend against young girls.
After a trial at Invercargill in 1995 he was sentenced to eight years' jail.
As the Reefton offences preceded the Invercargill offending Judge Saunders said he was bound by the totality principle.
Had the Invercargill judge also been sentencing on the Reefton charges the sentence would not have been more than 12 years, so he could only impose four and a half years.
Judge Saunders said that if Arnesen continued his denial he would have a difficult job convincing the Parole Board that he was not an undue risk to the community.
- Greymouth Star