A Tauranga paedophile who breached bail by taking a trip to Thailand when he was due to be sentenced has been jailed for six and a half years for offending against young girls.
Richard Neil Smith was originally due to be sentenced in Tauranga District Court in December but instead travelled to Thailand for a holiday after hearing of his likely jail time at a sentence indication hearing on October 8.
During that court appearance Smith pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual violation by an unlawful sexual connection, on a girl aged under 12. Five charges of performing an indecent act on a girl aged under 12, and one charge of performing an indecent act on a girl aged under 16.
The sexual violation charge has a maximum sentence of 20 years, the indecent act charge a sentence of 10 years and the indecent assault seven years.
The 63-year-old was remanded on bail for sentencing on December 23, with a bail condition he reside in Tauranga.
But Smith instead travelled to Thailand for a holiday, returning on December 15 to be arrested at Auckland International Airport. He has remained in custody since.
The delay prevented a pre-sentence report being prepared for December 23, and the sentencing date was delayed until January 20.
In sentencing yesterday, Judge Denise Clark told the court the victim impact statements made harrowing reading.
One victim says he is responsible for: “Messing up your childhood because what could have been normal was made dirty.”
Another says dealing with his offending throughout a five year period ruined her childhood.
From a starting point of ten years, Judge Clark gave Smith credit for his guilty plea, which saved the victims from having to give evidence, and for his expression of remorse.
His lawyer Tony Balme also argued Smith’s age of 63, and the fact he had no previous relevant convictions.
Judge Clark sentenced Smith to six and a half years on the sexual violation charge, and concurrent sentences of three years and two years on the other charges. She set no minimum non-parole period.
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