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Offender Admits Sex With 12-Year-Old

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Offender Admits Sex With 12-Year-Old

Christchurch, Dec 11 NZPA - A 25-year-old who admitted having sex with a 12-year-old girl was jailed today for two years and eight months.

Damian Ngarimu Edwards, who has some intellectual limitations, was sentenced in Christchurch District Court today after earlier admitting sexual connection with the girl, as well as unlawful possession of a knife and breaching his prison release conditions.

Defence counsel Serina Bailey said the sex had been a one-off incident and Edwards thought the girl was older than 12, but obviously under 16. The girl had consented and a report suggested she had not been affected in any adverse way.

Judge Michael Crosbie said Edwards had a long history of offending. There were no sexual offences, but an earlier weapons charge and breaches of court orders.

He said Edwards suffered from a number of disorders and had been seeing a psychiatrist before he was remanded in custody. "Alcohol and drugs don't do you any good and your behaviour gets out of control."

A report showed the girl was exhibiting no signs of child sexual abuse syndrome, but he added: "An event of this type often catches up with young people later."

He said he hoped that Edwards would immediately begin one-on-one counselling within the prison system.

Judge Crosbie, who also sits on the Parole Board, said: "There is an issue of safety of the community. You are a young man who needs professional help inside and out of the prison system. To the extent I can, I'll endeavour to see that happens."

The board would make an assessment and develop a programme either inside or outside prison to reduce the risk of reoffending.

Edwards interrupted the sentencing, telling the court from the dock: "I am trying to be a good person. I am willing to commit to getting the help I need. I have been missing my mum and brother and family quite a lot."

As he began his jail term, Edwards' brother called from the public seating for him to be strong. "There's still light at the end of the tunnel."


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