Court news – Sex offender jailed after ‘grooming’ teen


A 53-year-old Opotiki man who requested explicit videos from a teenage girl has been sentenced to prison.

The man, who has permanent name suppression, was sentenced to 32 months in prison when he appeared in the Opotiki District Court last Thursday.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful sexual connection with a young person and possession of objectionable material.

The court heard how the man was found in possession of several pornographic videos of an underage girl, and had touched the victim sexually on multiple occasions.

Lawyer Gene Tomlinson said the offending had not involved grooming, but this was disputed by Crown prosecutor Sam Davison.

Judge Louis Bidois described the offending as being “a result of a fantasy in this man’s mind”.

The offending begun with discussion of pornographic material between the defendant and victim, then aged 14, which led to the defendant requesting the victim provide him with explicit videos of herself, and supplying her with a phone to take the footage.

This led to livestreamed videos, and the defendant joining the victim in these sessions.
Judge Bidois said the victim had suffered psychologically since the events, including nightmares, flashbacks and a suicide attempt.

He ordered the payment of $1000 emotional harm reparation to the victim
Following his release from prison, the man will automatically become a registered sex offender.


Assault with intent to injure 

CAPTAIN Raniera Savage appeared in the Opotiki District Court last week, charged with assault with intent to injure.

Judge Lois Bidois heard the assault included strangulation, which the 43-year-old denied.

The victim was reported as receiving punches and kicks to the abdomen, with a series of minor injuries across her body.

“She has been sore from head to toe,” Judge Bidois said.

Lawyer Steve Franklin said Savage disputed the strangulation and other aspects of the assault, claiming the injuries sustained did not match up with the assault described by the victim.

Savage was remanded to appear in the Whakatane District Court the next day.

Four times over legal limit

AMANDEEP Singh had a breath alcohol level four times the legal limit when he was stopped by police.

Singh was pulled over on St John Street and found to have an excess breath alcohol level of 910 micrograms of alcohol per litre of breath. The legal limit is 250mcg.

He pleaded guilty to drink driving and was fined $980 plus court costs. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Liberty threatened after punch

SAM Troy Stansbury delivered a punch to the head of his victim that could be heard in another room of the house.

Stansbury pleaded guilty to assault when he appeared in court on Thursday.
Judge Bidois heard the assault consisted of one punch to the head, loud enough
for the victim’s mother to hear in a separate room.

The 27-year-old, who is taking part in restorative justice with the victim, was sentenced to nine months’ supervision and ordered to pay $200 reparation for emotional harm.

“Touch anyone else and you will end up losing your liberty,” said Judge Bidois.

Ordered to appear in person

SANDRA Dianne Rayner appeared in court via teleconference, being unable to attend in person due to illness.

She pleaded guilty to possession of an objectionable publication and perversion of the course of justice.

Judge Bidois remanded Rayner to reappear on February 22, instructing that she must attend in person.

Intimidated partner

DOUGLAS George Whitney pleaded guilty to intimidating his partner and her mother when he appeared in court last Thursday.

Judge Bidois heard the defendant threw glasses against the wall which shattered, intimidating both victims.

“Why would you do that in the first place?” Judge Bidois asked.

Judge Bidois said the victim’s mother had the right to be at the house.

“It’s about respect,” he said.

Whitney was sentenced to 120 hours of community work and ordered to pay $150 emotional harm reparation.

Lashed out with fists

FRANCES Moana Paget entered pleas of guilty to two charges of assault, both relating to attacks on the same person.

Judge Bidois heard the victim had approached Paget in the street, confessing to having relations with Paget’s husband.

Judge Bidois said Paget lashed out, “her fists were faster than her mouth”.

The second time, following a heated online exchange, Paget and her partner travelled to the victim’s house, where she assaulted the victim a second time.

“You went to her home, the place where she should feel safe,” Judge Bidois said.
Paget was ordered to pay $300 in emotional harm reparation.

Pleas for offending

PLEAS will need to be entered at Jordan Mcleod Peters’ next appearance.

Peters faces eight charges, five of which are assaults on a family member. The remaining charges are intentional damage, assault by stabbing, and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The alleged offending occurred in Te Kaha in December and January.

According to charging documents, Peters used scissors to cause grievous bodily harm to the victim.

“The man has been out of control,” Judge Bidois said.

Peters was remanded in custody until February 13 when he appeared in the Whakatane District Court last week.