New Zealand Police v HC [2016] NZYC 218

Published 28 October 2016

Sentencing — sexual offending — discharge with no formal record — Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989, ss 208, 282 and 283(a). The young person received a s 282 discharge for charges relating to sexual offending. It had previously been decided it would not be not appropriate to sentence the young person in the District Court, the issue was whether to impose a s 282 discharge which would have the effect of acting “as if the charges had never been laid” or s 283(a) discharge where a formal record would be kept. Having regard to the context of the offending such as the young person’s age and overt sexual behaviour from members of the wider family the Judge viewed s 282 as the most appropriate sentence. Consideration was given to the principle that any sanction must take the least restrictive approach appropriate in the circumstances (s 208(f)(ii)). The young person’s willingness to admit their involvement, participation in long-term counselling and response to the SAFE program were mitigating features. Judgment Date: 12 April 2016. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *