John Whare Tiopira
Christchurch Press story 6th April 2002
Indecent assaults on a girl aged 14 have brought 18 months jail for John Whare Tiopira, who was found guilty at a Christchurch District Court trial last month. The 47-year-old beneficiary had his jail sentence reduced by Judge David Holderness because of health problems. He is a diabetic. Tiopira originally pleaded not guilty to six sex charges when the trial began. He was discharged on one charge, and the jury could not agree on two, but convicted him on the remaining three.
Crown prosecutor Craig Ruane asked for the two charges of unlawful sexual intercourse on which the jury could not agree to be remanded to a pre-trial conference. But he said the complainant now had no desire for a retrial. The offences occurred in mid-2000, when young people aged about 14 - the age of Tiopira's son - would regularly visit his home to drink alcohol and sometimes smoke cannabis.
On one occasion Tiopira had kissed a girl, 14, badly affected by alcohol. Another time he penetrated her with his finger. Defence counsel Greg Trainor said Tiopira would find a jail term more difficult owing to health problems, and urged that he be allowed to apply for home detention. But Mr Ruane said Tiopira's continuing denial of the jury's findings was a concern. Judge Holderness imposed prison terms totalling 18 months and lifted the suppression order on Tiopira's name. Leave to apply for home detention was granted.
Date of Birth
Indecent assault (x3) on a fourteen year old Christchurch girl in mid 2000
Sentenced to 1 year 6 months in April 2002
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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