From the Christchurch Press 7th July 2010
An Auckland man convicted of indecently assaulting five young girls, including two sisters, has lost an appeal against both his conviction and sentence. Robert Walker was found guilty at Manukau District Court last July of indecently assaulting five girls between eight and 13-years-old over a four and-a-half year period. He was sentenced to five years' jail with a minimum non-parole period of two and-a-half years.
Walker appealed his conviction on the grounds that some material evidence was not called at trial and his counsel failed to properly cross-examine two of the complainants on differences between their police statements and trial evidence. A Court of Appeal decision released yesterday (JULY 6) said the material evidence had "marginal, if any, relevance" and would not assist Walker's case. Also, the jury had plenty of time to access the authenticity of each girl's account and "there will always be differences where young children give accounts of events which are not fresh in their minds", the report said. "His (Walker's) grounds of appeal against conviction are not arguable."
Walker also appealed his sentence, saying the judge failed to distinguish between each complainant. The court found the sentence start point of five years was not manifestly excessive and there were no mitigating factors. "Mr Walker's conduct was sustained, demeaning and predatory. He deprived (one complainant) of her sexual innocence and the effect on her was severe." Walker's offending against each girl followed similar patterns, the report said. He would befriend the child and her parents to gain their trust, and eventually unsupervised company. "There was a consistent theme of grooming, including encouraging the girls to consume alcohol before interfering with them."
From the Christchurch Press 4th November 1998
A South Auckland man who repeatedly raped and sexually violated a five-year-old girl has been jailed for eight years. Robert Walker, 40, of Otahuhu, pleaded guilty at an earlier court hearing to representative charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and sexual violation by rape.
Judge Mary Beth Sharp said in the Papakura District Court on Monday that the charges referred to offences from May to June this year, but the offending could have occurred for up to nine months. She said the aggravating features of Walker's offending were the number of times the acts were carried out, the child's age, and the "gross breach of trust". She was "considerably concerned" about a comment Walker made to police saying he knew he had a problem.
The judge said Walker had told police at the time of his arrest that his problem was not with all children, just the five-year-old, because she was different and had attractive features. Paul Borich, defending, said Walker was an intelligent man who up until now had led a relatively productive life. "He does not understand why he has done what he's done," he said.
Date of Birth
Sentenced to 8 years with automatic release after 5 years 4 months in November 1998
Sentenced to 5 years with a 2 year 6 month non-parole period in July 2009
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Robert Walker Appeal Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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