A man who molested a child is facing a 10-year jail term, because of the three strikes legislation.
Graeme Rutherford, 63, appeared in the High Court in Wellington this morning and pleaded guilty to one charge of indecently assaulting a child.
His lawyer asked the court to order both a probation report and a psychological report, given the length of sentence her client is facing.
Because this is Rutherford’s third serious offence, he must serve the maximum 10-year sentence, unless the court considers that would be manifestly unjust.
Sadly no doubt the court will once again find no parole to be manifestly unjust. But let’s look at his record.
- 1987 – convicted for indecent assault on a female
- 1989 – convicted for indecent assault on a female
- Strike 1 was in December 2014. He put his hand up the dress of a three year old girl in The Warehouse. Given three months community detention and two years intensive supervision which includes no contact with any under 16 year old. To run from April 2015 to April 2017.
- Strike 2 was in March 2016, while subject to the supervision conditions. He felt up the bottom of an eight year old girl in a playground. Got eight months home detention and again ordered not to associate with anyone under 16
This is an interesting case. The two earlier strikes did not get any jail time. They are arguably at the lower end of the offending scale. However he seems unable to stop himself and is a menace. He ignores court orders to stay away from kids. No amount of courses or counselling seems to be working. And he is offending frequently. I suspect he has had more victims.
We don’t know how serious his offending was for his third strike. It is possible if it is at the lower end, that he shouldn’t get ten years without parole. But the good thing is Three Strikes means his sentence will be for ten years and no parole is possible for at least three years and four months. So there won’t be any more community detention or home detention which has obviously been a total failure with this guy.