From the Evening Standard 6th July 2002
A "predatory and utterly corrupt" 55-year-old man has been jailed for six years for sexual offending against seven primary school-age girls and a boy. Judge Les Atkins QC said that, but for Horowhenua beneficiary Laurence Oliphant's early pleas of guilty to 11 charges, the sentence would have been eight years. He sentenced Oliphant in Palmerston North District Court yesterday.
Oliphant's offending involved three children in a rural area near Matamata, Waikato, in 1995, and five girls in a small Horowhenua settlement after 1999. He was arrested in March 2001. The arrest was made after five girls told their parents what had happened with Oliphant at his home and during beach rides to remote locations in a four-wheel-drive. The most serious offences were the sexual violations of two girls, aged eight or under at the time, in Horowhenua.
Families of some of the victims were in court for the sentencing. They heard Crown prosecutor Simone Tune and defence lawyer Yvonne Summers describe to Judge Atkins how Oliphant video-recorded much of what he made the children do.They had been forced to pose naked and perform sexual acts for the camera. Some of the charges cited acts he had forced some of the girls to perform on himself. Judge Atkins said the aggravating factors were the number of offences, the number of victims, their ages (all were under 12), the gross breach of trust and the sustained offending.
All that could be said in mitigation was that Oliphant had no previous record of such offending, and had pleaded guilty soon after being charged. Oliphant had tried to put a 'gloss of simulated naivety and innocence of purpose' on his offending. But in reality, he was "predatory and corrupt", Judge Atkins said. Oliphant, who was described by neighbours as a quiet person who kept to himself, had "simply surrendered" to his "illegitimate inclinations."
He was known to all the parents concerned, who "understandably feel manipulated and betrayed. And they were." Judge Atkins was dissatisfied with a psychiatric report, which expressed the view that, in strict terms, Oliphant was not a paedophile. The report, the judge said, simply reflected what Oliphant had told the examiner, and did nothing to reduce his own concern about the risk of Oliphant offending again. Judge Atkins imposed sentences ranging from six years to 18 months, to be served concurrently.
Date of Birth
22 January 1947
Was sentenced to 6 years in July 2002
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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