Story from the Christchurch Press 22th May 2004
A former Christchurch scout leader who sexually abused an 11- year-old boy has been jailed for three years. Keith Mitchelmore, 54, admitted charges of sexual violation, two counts of indecent assault and one of inducing an indecent act, all against the same complainant in 1989. He had been a volunteer scout leader at the St Nicholas group in Barrington Street, Christchurch, since 1986.Sentencing him to three years jail, Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen Erber said the abuse began when Mitchelmore showed the boy a pornographic magazine.
He later arranged to meet him at the scout den where he committed indecencies on him. He also sexually abused the boy on other occasions. The victim impact report made sad reading, the complainant suffering issues with sexuality and depression. "The effects of the behaviour are profound but it was unlikely your behaviour was entirely the cause of his present problems," the judge said.
He acknowledged Mitchelmore's acceptance of responsibility for the offending and that he did not blame the victim."I don't ignore, either, the effect on the scouting movement and the publicity the offending attracts," he said. Lawyer Raoul Neave said it was tragic for Mitchelmore and the victim. He had an otherwise blameless record in the Scouts, his parish and a sporting club, but had allowed his standards to slip with tragic consequences.
His remorse was shown by his readiness to admit the offences and spare the victim the ordeal of a trial. No violence was involved and Mitchelmore would not reoffend in future provided he got the help that was available, Neave said. Prosecutor Kerry White said it was enough to say the type of offending on a child had life-long consequences and clearly had impacted heavily on the victim. The judge said a probation report showed Mitchelmore was an otherwise sound citizen. He was a family man with a stable marriage and was well thought of in the community. It was not until the late 1980s that he recognised he might be attracted to young boys. The judge jailed Mitchelmore for three years.
Date of Birth
Sexual violation, indecent assault (x2) and inducing an indecent act, all relating to the same 11 year old Christchurch boy in 1989
Sentenced to three years in May 2004
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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