David John Gay
TV3 News story here
NZ Herald story 22nd January 2008
David John Gay - described as "evil filth' by the mother of the little girl he abducted and sexually assaulted - knows he may serve the rest of his life in prison. The hearing in the High Court at Christchurch indicated that his open-ended preventive detention sentence was a foregone conclusion, but Justice John Fogarty heard submissions on the non-parole period before imposing eight years. Defence counsel Michael Starling said that Gay, now 44, had met people serving preventive detention sentences during his years in prison. "There are people in Paparua who have served 20 years. He knows that no matter what period you set, he can effectively serve the rest of his life in prison," Mr Starling told Justice Fogarty. "Often people on this sentence don't get out. The Parole Board is incredibly tough."
Gay has a history of sex offending against young girls. One of his earlier victims was aged two years. In mid-2007 he had not long been out of jail for sexual offending in Invercargill. He was living in the Christchurch suburb of Linwood and an extended supervision order had recently been imposed. But some nights he would go out prowling and entering houses. One night he found a woman asleep on a sofa and sat watching her until she awoke. He entered another house about 3am on July 1 through a back door which had been left unlocked so a couple using a sleep-out could have access to the toilet during the night. There were 12 people sleeping at the address because the family had gathered for the grandmother's 70th birthday.
Gay took money from a handbag and then took a sleeping seven-year-old girl out of her sleeping bag and carried her out the door onto the decking where he removed her underwear and indecently assaulted her. When she woke and screamed he threw or pushed her onto the ground before running off. In court, he pleaded guilty to charges of abduction, indecent assault, breach of parole, two burglaries, and unlawfully interfering with a car. The girl's mother read the family's victim impact statement in court. She said it had broken her heart not to be allowed to be with her daughter during the investigation and the upsetting rape examination. "The terror, shock, fear and heartbreak that I felt as a mother when I first held her after the attack will never leave me.
"The disgust and hate we feel for this person is so strong it, too, will never leave us. We have all been touched by the evil filth of this offender." The family lived outside the city and had come in for the family gathering. "Christchurch has become a place full of evil to us, and will never be the same." The family had increased security and now kept doors locked even during the day. Mr Starling urged Justice Fogarty to impose a five-year non-parole term, but crown prosecutor Catherine Dalziel sought a term of at least 10 years. Justice Fogarty said: "It seems to me this man simply doesn't have the normal mechanisms of self control and moral sensibility that normal people in the community have." He described Gay's offending as opportunistic and impulsive.
"The fact that you have sexually offended against a child as young as two years, suggests to me that you are likely to be suffering from a mental disorder as defined under the Mental Health Act." He was satisfied that there was a pattern of serious offending, and it was escalating. "Obviously, this form of sexual offending is of great seriousness and harm to the community." He said he was disturbed to hear that authorities only arranged treatment for such prisoners when their non-parole term had expired. He hoped that Gay would be given some opportunity to attend programmes before the term expired, but he also noted that the man had already attempted the Kia Marama programme for sex offenders. Outside the court, the girl's family welcomed the sentence. It was excellent to know Gay was in prison and could not offend against other little girls, said the mother.
From the Southland Times 3rd August 2007
An Invercargill mother's words have turned out to be prophetic after the man who abused her daughters in 2003 was again convicted of indecent assault. David John Gay, 43, entered a guilty plea in the Christchurch District Court on Monday to indecently assaulting, and attempting to kidnap a sleeping child in the suburb of Linwood on July 1. He also admitted two charges of burglary and one of unlawfully interfering with a car. Gay snatched the 7-year-old girl from her home and took her into the backyard, where he indecently assaulted her. He fled the scene after the girl woke up and screamed, alerting her parents. Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Berryman said Gay told police he wanted to see how far he could get with the girl and that he had "sexually offended" against her.
Judge Stephen Erber remanded Gay in custody for sentencing on October 5. In January 2003, Gay was was jailed for three and a half years when he appeared in the Invercargill District Court after admitting five sex offences. On that occasion he was sentenced to three and a half years on each of two charges of sexual violation of a 22-month toddler and 5-year-old girl, two years for indecent assault and six months for an indecent act, to be served concurrently. Speaking to The Southland Times at the time, the girl's mother declared Gay a "bloody monster", called for the courts to get tough and said his sentence was too soft. "My girls won't get half off. They'll have to live this nightmare forever." Gay had taken her children's innocence, she said, predicting that he would offend again.
From the Fairfax Media 30th July 2007
A prowler who abducted a sleeping seven-year-old girl from a Christchurch house has pleaded guilty and is in custody awaiting sentencing. David John Gay admitted five charges in Christchurch District Court today, a week after his arrest for the July 1 abduction which ended when the girl woke and screamed outside her grandmother's house in suburban Linwood. She was left muddy and bleeding, in only her pyjama top as Gay ran off. Police said during the inquiries that the girl's nose was "crushed" when Gay clamped his hand across her face and carried her into the backyard. He admitted two charges of burglary, unlawfully interfering with a car, abducting the girl, and indecently assaulting her. At 3am on July 1, Gay walked into the property, entered a car in the driveway and searched through it.
He then went into the house through an unlocked back door. The house had four adults and a child asleep in the bedrooms, four children asleep in the lounge, one adult asleep in a campervan in the driveway, and two adults and a child in a sleep-out. Gay looked through the pantry and fridge. He took cards and $28 cash from a woman's handbag in the dining room, and then went into the lounge where children aged 13, 10, seven, and two were sleeping. He picked up the seven-year-old girl, taking her out of her sleeping bag, and carried her out through the door on to the deck at the back of the house. Police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Berryman said Gay then took off her underwear. "The victim woke up to find herself lying on her back on the deck, and screamed." Gay then picked her up again and threw her on to the ground before he ran off.
"The girl went back inside where she was found by other family members violently shaking and wearing only her pyjama top. She had mud on her pyjama top and her neck, and she had blood around her nose and on her arm." The girl's underwear had not been found. Gay admitted going to another property at 4am on July 11, searching another car in a driveway and going inside the house through another unlocked back door. He took money from a wallet, and then went into the lounge where he found a cellphone and a woman asleep on the couch. "He sat in a chair beside the woman and began to watch her until she woke," said Mr Berryman. He then left with her cellphone. When he was caught, Gay told police he had taken the girl to see how far he could get. He said he had "sexually offended" against her. He had disposed of the wallet and would not say where her underwear was. Judge Stephen Erber remanded Gay in custody for sentencing on October 5.
From the Southland Times 23rd January 2008
A FORMER Invercargill man with a history of sexual offending against children was yesterday sentenced to preventive detention in the High Court at Christchurch. David John Gay, 44, was sentenced to the term by Justice Fogarty, who ordered him to serve a minimum term of eight years for abducting and sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl in Christchurch in July. About five years before, Gay was jailed for three and a half years in Invercargill after admitting five sex offences against a 22- month-old toddler and 5-year-old girl. The mother of the two children said at the time she thought the sentence was too soft and predicted Gay would reoffend. After attending Gay's sentencing the woman, who now lives in North Canterbury, said she felt relieved he would be behind bars for a long time - forever, she hoped. Her only regret was that another family had to go through what her family had been through, she said.
"The kids (involved) have to live with it for the rest of their lives." After the sentencing, she spoke to the mother of the Christchurch victim and said she wished they could have met under different circumstances. Justice Fogarty said he was satisfied a long, finite term was no longer the answer. Early on July 1, Gay entered a Linwood house through an unlocked door, picked up the girl, who was asleep on a couch, and took her outside. He removed her underwear but then she woke up and screamed, and Gay ran off. Reading her victim-impact statement to the court, the child's mother spoke of the trauma to the family, but especially to her daughter. She had to go through a medical examination and give a statement to police on her own, vomiting from the shock. "The terror, shock, fear and heartbreak I felt as a mother will never leave me," she said.
The girl's grandmother said the offence occurred in the context of her 70th birthday celebrations at the house. "I am completely horrified as to what happened." The family called for the court to end Gay's predatory career: "He cannot be allowed to do this to any other child. Christchurch is full of evil to us and will never be the same." Gay admitted charges of abduction, indecent assault, two of burglary, and interfering with a car and breaching parole. Lawyer Michael Starling said he accepted Gay qualified for preventive detention, the only question being the length of a minimum term. Prosecutor Kathryn Dalziel called for a minimum non-parole term of 10 years, and said it did not matter whether Gay's offending was premeditated or not. The judge said it was unlikely attempts to modify Gay's behaviour would work, given intervention had failed in the past.
Date of Birth
1964 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to preventive detention with a 8 year minimum non-parole period in January 2008
Due to be considered for release January 2016
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links David John Gay Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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