R v Hegh [2019] NZDC 11210

Published 05 June 2020

Sentencing — neglect of a vulnerable adult — possession of objectionable images — child pornography — possession of cannabis — utensils — Heppell v R [2017] NZHC 64 — R v Quinn CRI-2012-041-002610, 16 May 2014 — R v Walters [2015] NZHC 3181 — Office of Film and Literature Classification — Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Government Agency Registration) Act 2016. The defendant appeared for sentence having been found guilty by a jury of one charge of neglect of a vulnerable adult, and subsequently pleading guilty to 16 charges of possession of objectionable images. The defendant was the full-time carer for his grandfather. Police went to visit the defendant on unrelated matters and found the victim living in terrible conditions, with police observing the victim had not showered in days (if not weeks), had infections requiring medication, that there was rotting food and inadequate food. The jury found the defendant failed to meet his obligations to his grandfather. The defendant was also found to have possession of objectionable publications; 390 images, ranging in seriousness but including Category A images (the most objectionable). The Judge, having considered case law, adopted a starting point of two years and six months' imprisonment on the neglect charges, a starting point of 15 months for the objectionable images and an uplift of two months for the cannabis charges. The Judge granted a 15 per cent discount for the defendant's guilty plea in relation to the objectionable material, and sentenced the defendant to an overall sentence of three years' imprisonment based on totality principles, and ordered the destruction of the objectionable publications, the defendant's devices and cannabis and related utensils. The defendant was also registered under the Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Government Agency Registration) Act. Judgment Date: 12 June 2019.