R v Duffy [2018] NZDC 4269

Published 17 April 2019

Sentencing — sexual violation of an intellectually disabled person — three strikes warning — minimum non-parole period. The defendant appeared for sentencing having pleaded guilty to eight charges of sexual violation, of varying degree, and three charges of indecent assault. The victim was a 16 year old girl with intellectual disabilities, meaning her intellectual age was around 10 to 12 years. The defendant was aware of this. The Judge, in his previous sentencing indication, believed a starting point of 16 years' imprisonment was appropriate, due to the significant vulnerability of the victim and the breach of trust. The mitigating factors the Judge considered were the relative youth of the defendant and his previous good record, having no previous convictions; for those the Judge reduced the sentence one year. The Judge then applied a 20 percent reduction for the guilty pleas, bringing the sentence to 12 years' imprisonment. Because the defendant was subject to deportation at the end of his sentence, the Judge did not impose a minimum period of imprisonment, as he posed no further risk to the community and the need for denunciation and deterrence can be met by the final sentence. On each charge of sexual violation, the Judge sentenced the defendant to 12 years' imprisonment. On the indecent assault charges, the defendant was sentenced to five years, served concurrently. The defendant was also given a three strikes warning. Judgment Date: 7 March 2018. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *