John David Phillip Spencer
Taranaki Daily News article 1st September 2004
A convicted sex offender indecently assaulted two young men while on parole but was left to roam free in the Taranaki community for a further 16 months. Crown prosecutor Simon Heale criticised the Community Probation Service for the oversight, after it failed to recall John David Phillip Spencer (37) to finish his sentence after reoffending in April last year.
Spencer was sentenced to five years and six months in prison yesterday with a minimum non-parole period of three years and eight months. In July a jury found him guilty of two charges of indecent assault after he entered the victims houses while they were asleep, on successive nights last April. At the time, Spencer was on parole for indecently assaulting a 16-year-old boy while holding a knife to his throat. Crown prosecutor Simon Heale said Spencer was the personification of a home owner's worst nightmare.
"For some inexplicable reason he was not recalled to serve out the remainder of his sentence. This is a huge oversight from the probation service," he said. "The message it sends to the community and other potential offenders is they can go out and offend while on parole. For members of the community the prospect of an offender coming into their home to commit an offence is a very frightening thing." Mr Heale asked for sentencing to be transferred to the High Court so preventative detention could be considered.
Community Probation Service regional manager Heather Mackie said the Community Probation Service had not had any involvement with Spencer since August 2003. She said Spencer had complied with all his parole conditions between August 19, 2002, and August 18, 2003. "I am satisfied that this offender's parole order was well managed by an experienced probation officer and that appropriate consideration was given to enforcement action," she said.
Defence counsel Paul Keegan said Spencer had committed no offences or slip-ups during the 16 months he was on bail. He said there had not been an escalation in the seriousness of the crimes Spencer had committed. "It would be disproportionately harsh to give him a sentence of preventative detention." Judge Louis Bidois declined the application for sentencing to be carried out in the High Court.
"You got bail only through a false alibi. Any further offending by you when you are released will lead to preventative detention, if it is of a sexual nature. "You claim to have been sexually abused when you were younger, and were forced to work as a male prostitute to fund your substance abuse. "With the support of the church and friends you have decided to end your homosexual lifestyle in order to be pleasing to God," he said. "I invite you to embrace that faith and turn from your wicked ways."
Date of Birth
Indecently assaulted two young New Plymouth men, entering with intent to commit a crime (x2) and theft (x2) in April 2003
Was on parole for indecent assault and knife attack on a 16 year old boy at the time
Also perverting the course of justice
Sentenced to 5 years 6 months in September 2004
A 3 year 8 month non-parole period was imposed
Sentenced to a 9 month cumulative term with a 6 month concurrent term in February 2005
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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