Community detention for assaults

A Queenstown woman broke down in tears as she described how an indecent assault left her frustrated, upset, and afraid in her own home.

A 26-year-old Central Lakes man was sentenced to three months' community detention and nine months' supervision on two charges of indecent assault when he appeared before Judge Bernadette Farnan in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

There were emotional scenes in court as the two victims read victim impact statements, detailing how the assaults had affected their lives.

Shaking and struggling to hold back tears, the first victim said the April 2017 assault had left her ``paranoid about security''.

"I don't know why he chose to come into my house,'' she told the court.

"He had no right to invade my home or my privacy.''

She felt "frustrated, upset and victimised''.

She said she had not been able to put the incident behind her, due to the ongoing court process.

"I have not been able to forget that night.''

Following the first incident, the offender suffered a head injury after being assaulted by a man, the court heard.

The second incident, in December 2017, involved a woman who was a friend of the offender.

She said on the night of the assault, she planned to talk to him about problems in his life following the injury.

"I'd reached out a couple of times, but you brushed it off.''

The assault had left her "severely depressed'', she abused alcohol, and excessively exercised and stopped eating.

The assault also meant there was a delay in her young son coming to live with her, as her mother, who was looking after him, felt he would not be safe.

She lost "a lot of friends'' for reporting the assault, she said.

"I was crying all the time, I pushed my family and friends away.

"I felt like I had done something wrong.''

The offender had told her she was someone "men only go to for a good time'', and after the assault, she began to believe that, she said.

The man's lawyer, Joseph Mooney, asked for interim name suppression to be made permanent.

He said the man was unable to work or drive due to his head injury, which did not appear to be improving.

The man had earlier accepted a sentencing indication from Judge Farnan, which included name suppression being made final.

The Crown had asked for name suppression to be reviewed.

Judge Farnan granted permanent name suppression due to the man's "unique'' circumstances, including his head injury and a "vendetta'' against him by the man who assaulted him.

The offender also received one strike under the three strikes law.


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