R v SQ [2019] NZYC 627

Published 17 February 2020

Sentencing — sexual violation by rape — attempted sexual violation by unlawful connection — Oranga Tamariki Act 1989, ss 4, 5, 208, 282, 283, 284 & 289 — Police v HC [2016] NZYC 218 — Police v ND [2018] NZYC 602 — Churchward v R [2011] NZCA 531, (2011) 25 CRNZ 446 — M v New Zealand Police [2002] BCL 1007 — Pouwhare v R [2010] NZCA 268. The young person appeared for sentence after not denying one charge each of sexual violation by rape and attempted sexual violation by unlawful connection, namely penetration of the victim's anus by his penis. Over the course of a year he had sexually offended against a relative under the age of 10. When the charges first came to light the young person showed limited empathy and victim-blaming towards the child. After three years of rehabilitation he showed considerable growth, genuine remorse and appeared to be at a low risk of reoffending. The main decision for the Judge to make was whether the young person should be discharged under s 282 of the Oranga Tamariki Act (the Act) or s 283(a). A discharge under s 282 would mean it would be as if the charges against the young person were never laid. A discharge under s 283(a) would keep a record of the offending but the young person would face no further consequences. The Judge was satisfied after all of the young person's hard work that a discharge was the right outcome. However, with reference to case law, it was determined that a s 283(a) discharge was appropriate. The offending was too serious to erase, especially as that would not reflect the reality of the situation; the victim would carry the weight of the offending all her life. Judgment Date: 4 December 2019. * * * Note: names have been changed to comply with legal requirements. * * *