THE SOUTHLAND TIMES, 26th July 2003
An Irish man who admitted sexual assault with intent of sexual violation was sentenced to four and a half years' jail by Judge Phil Moran in the Invercargill District Court yesterday. Stephen Bell, 31, factory worker, of Invercargill, was an illegal immigrant from Ireland who would serve a very lonely sentence for the crime, Judge Moran said. On the night of December 15 last year, Bell entered the bedroom of a woman in a house in which he had been staying.
Crown prosecutor Alistair Garland said the woman rejected his advances, but Bell return a second time with a knife and pinned the woman to her bed. He held the knife to her throat, threatened to tie her up and then sexually assaulted her. "He became very menacing and threatening." The attack only stopped when the victim started sobbing and, after a short struggle, Bell left after saying "you probably think I'm really crazy and mad." Mr Garland said the victim's courage and tenacity had saved her further torment.
Defence counsel Bill Dawkins said Bell was now trying to show some decency after an indecent act. "He accepts that he terrified and frightened her." Judge Moran said Bell's guilty plea was entered at a late stage, which limited its mitigating effect. Bell had used a knife to threaten and humiliate the victim. In jail, he would have to sort out his alcohol problem and accompanying violent streak, he said.If he did not, he would continue to pose a high risk to the community, Judge Moran said.
Date of Birth
Sexual assault and attempted sexual violation in December 2002
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 4 years 6 months in July 2003
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