Denis William Tipene
The Southland Times from December 2002
A man with a history of convictions for sexual offending was sentenced to jail by Judge Noel Walsh in the Invercargill District Court yesterday. Denis William Tipene, 54, trustee, was sentenced after admitting indecently assaulting a seven-year-old child and doing an indecent act with intent to offend the same child between November 2 last year and October 24 in Invercargill. Tipene stood in the dock with tears rolling down his face as he was sentenced to a total of nine months in jail and given leave to apply for home detention.
A man in the public gallery shouted "you are going to suffer, mate" at Tipene before rushing from the courtroom. Judge Walsh said this was Tipene's third conviction for sex offending in seven years. Defence counsel Hugo Young said Tipene had confessed to the offending during counselling to address the abuse he suffered as a child. The counsellor had informed police of Tipene's admission and the child was interviewed. Tipene's guilty plea in court saved the child the trauma of having to give evidence. He had moved to Gore, where he had been living in a caravan in the camping ground. He had lost his family, his standing in Maoridom and the wider community as a result, Mr Young said.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Penny Stratford said the offending was a gross breach of trust on a very young child. The assault, which was representative of two offences, was deliberate and after each event Tipene told the child not to tell anyone about it, she said. Judge Walsh said the indecent act occurred when the child was in the lounge of Tipene's home while he watched a pornographic video and then masturbated in front of the child. It was a classic case of a person who had suffered an horrific childhood becoming an abuser.
"You robbed this ... (child of its) innocence just like yours was taken when you were a kid." Judge Walsh said he accepted Tipene was genuinely remorseful and had sought counselling before the matter came to police attention. Tipene would be able to hold his head up when he was released from jail if he addressed and resolved his problems, Judge Walsh said.
Date of Birth
Indecent assault on a 7 year old Invercargill child and doing an indecent act with intent to offend the victim between November 2001 and October 2002
His third conviction for sex offending in seven years
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to just 9 months in December 2002
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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