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Weak sentence for depraved father slammed

Media Release 5 June 2013

Weak sentence for depraved father slammed

The child advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation, has slammed today’s sentence of a father convicted of a range of sexual charges against his then 13-month old son.

The 27-year old father of the infant was sentenced in the Oamaru District Court this afternoon to eight years 10 months imprisonment, with a minimum non-parole period of five years.

Stop Demand’s founder, Denise Ritchie, says she is baffled and, quite frankly, furious at the weak sentence handed down by Judge Joanna Maze. Ritchie says, “This man sexually violated his 13-month old son, an offence that is heinous in the extreme, and which attracts up to 20 years imprisonment. This father then sold, for $500, the use of his son for the purpose of sexual violation, to Kiwi paedophile Aaron John Ellmers who was sentenced last month to preventive detention for a minimum period of 20 years. Adding to these atrocities, the father recorded the violations of his son, to distribute for the sexual pleasure of other sexual predators. As he reaches young adulthood his son will realise that for his entire lifetime and beyond, countless men will continue to masturbate to and enjoy his rapes by his dad in cyberspace – a discovery that for many such victims is psychologically crippling.”

“If those offences weren’t horrific enough, the offender’s desire to exchange his pictures and videos for photos of sexual offending against young girls will directly fuel a demand for images that require young girls to be raped; he is therefore directly fuelling the rape of young girls. Frankly, sexual crimes against children don’t get any worse than this. These are a series of crimes for which this man should have been sent to prison for 18-20 years with a minimum non-parole period of 15 years, not five.”

Denise Ritchie says, “What more does Judge Joanna Maze expect an infant to endure at the hands of a biological parent before she would consider a penalty at the top end? There are two issues about which Stop Demand is furious: the paltry penalty, and the fact that we have such disconnected judges that spout weasel words about ‘profound effect on a child’ and then dish out weak penalties that in no way reflect the gravity of the crimes. This 13-month old was failed by his ‘apology-for-a-father’ and he has been failed again by Judge Maze and the legal system.”

Stop Demand points to New Zealand’s shocking record of child sex abuse and incest. It says as long as we have judges like Judge Maze dishing out trivialising sentences, we have little hope of turning this national scourge around.


© Scoop Media

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