New Zealand Police v Kirkpatrick [2021] NZDC 8408

Published 07 October 2021

Sentencing — indecent communication with a young person aged under 18 — sexual conduct with a young person under the age of 16 — photographs — blackmail — Crimes Act 1961, ss 124A & 134 — Sentencing Act 2002, ss 7, 8, 9, 9A, 11, 106 & 107 — Blythe v R [2011] 2 NZLR 620. The defendant appeared for sentence on one charge of indecent communication with a young person aged under 18, and four of sexual conduct with a young person under the age of 16. He sought a discharge without conviction. The first charge arose when the defendant met the victim online and began to exchange intimate photos with him. The defendant eventually began to threaten the victim, and ultimately sent intimate photos of the victim to other people. The other charges arose in connection to a second victim, who the defendant met at his house and began to touch in the area of his genitals and buttocks, despite the victim's protests. In determining an application for a discharge without conviction the Court had to first assess the gravity of the offending and the direct and indirect consequences of a conviction. Then the Court had to determine whether the consequences of a conviction would be all out of proportion with the gravity of the offending. Both victims suffered serious distress because of the offending. In mitigation the defendant was young, had suffered social and health problems, had shown remorse, had pleaded guilty, had made attempts to make amends, and was of otherwise good character. Given these factors, and the fact that a conviction would end the defendant's aim of becoming a commercial pilot, the Court granted the application for a discharge without conviction. The Court ordered emotional harm reparations of $2500 to the second victim and made an order suppressing the defendant's name. Judgment Date: 5 May 2021. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *