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Sex Offender Has Jail Sentence Reduced

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Sex Offender Has Jail Sentence Reduced

Wellington, July 15 NZPA - A former Child, Youth and Family (CYF) worker convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old girl in his care has had one year taken off his seven year jail term.

Ralph Lindsay Brunie, 40, was found guilty last November of two charges of unlawful connection with the girl -- one of oral sex and one of having sexual intercourse with her -- and one charge of grooming the girl for sex.

Brunie went to the Court of Appeal, saying the seven-year sentence was "manifestly excessive" and asked for a reduction to around five years.

During his trial the Christchurch District Court was told Brunie groomed the young girl with obsessive texting after she was sent to a CYF facility in Christchurch.

Her file, which Brunie had access to, said she had alcohol and drug problems and had previously formed inappropriate relationships with older men.

Judge Michael Crosbie said t he criminalisation of conduct such as Brunie's was intended to provide protection from predatory behaviour.

In a Court of Appeal ruling released today, Justices Ellen France, Tony Randerson and Forrest Miller said the offending involved a high level of premeditation.

"The breach of trust arising from the appellant's predations on this particularly vulnerable young woman required a stern response in terms of both denunciation and deterrence."

However, the justices found the jail term for the sexual offences imposed by Judge Crosbie was excessive.

They quashed the seven-year term and reduced it to six years.

The concurrent sentence of four years for grooming the girl into having sex, was not changed.


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