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Wanganui Chronicle story 13th December 2011
Conscience clearly got the better of a man who turned himself in two years after sexually assaulting a young girl, the Wanganui District Court heard yesterday. Harold Nicholson was convicted of two counts of unlawful sexual connection with a female aged 12-16 and was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison by Judge David Cameron. In June and July 2009, Nicholson, then aged 66, assaulted the same victim twice. She was 13 on the first occasion and 14 on the second. The victim knew Nicholson and had stopped in at his house for a drink while cycling home.
He sat her on the couch and gave her a drink and an icecream while he had a beer. He then covered them both with a blanket, removed her tights and undergarments, before abusing her. He committed a similar act again a few days later. He told her not to tell anyone, and moved to Australia in 2010. In February this year, while in Australia, he went to police and confessed to the crime, even though there was no charge laid against him at the time. He voluntarily returned to New Zealand, confessed to his crimes and was fully cooperative with police. In her victim impact statement, the girl said she was scared at the time and she was angry about what happened.
Her whole family had been hurt by the situation and she was still attending appointments at a sexual abuse healing centre. Nicholson's criminal history spanned 1962 to 2008, during which time he committed a variety of different offences. Judge Cameron said while his conscience had clearly gotten the better of him at the time he confessed, the two incidents showed a degree of persistence, and a breach of trust. His pre-sentence report also showed he had limited insight into the seriousness of his offending, Judge Cameron said.
Date of Birth
Unlawful sexual connection with a Wanganui girl under sixteen (x2) between June and July 2009
Sentenced to 2 years 10 months in December 2011
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