Mervyn Owen Weir
Northern Advocate story 21st February 2008
A JUDGE deemed the crime "totally unacceptable" as he sentenced a Whangarei man to 12 years' imprisonment for sexually assaulting a girl and raping another who had a degree of mental retardation. Mervyn Owen Weir, 39, wept and shook his head as he was sentenced for one charge of sexual violation by rape and a representative charge of sexual violation by unlawful connection. A representative charge indicates it happened over a period of time, rather than one individual incident.
Throughout his trial Weir maintained his innocence but a jury convicted him of both counts in December last year. The offending occurred between 1996 and 2000 when both his victims were under 12 and Judge Harvey said their young age and their lack of intellectual ability were aggravating factors. Crown Prosecutor Kim Thomas said Weir had been in a position of trust which he had grossly abused.
He said there was some degree of premeditation as Weir had entered the bedrooms of the children as they slept and committed the acts. The defence lawyer said his client had never committed a similar offence and the sentence should reflect that this was not prolonged or repeat offending. However Judge Duncan Harvey said the charge of sexual violation by unlawful connection was representative and he believed the victim's statement that it had happened on four occasions.
He said the harm caused by Weir on the two girls was obvious from the victim impact statements. "I must hold you accountable for what you have done ... I must make it clear that this type of offending is completely unacceptable ... and the sentence must reflect the gravity of this type of offending." He said due to the aggravating factors he would sentence Weir to 12 years for rape. Weir also received three- and-a-half years for sexual violation by unlawful connection. Both sentences will run concurrently. The judge declined to issue a non-parole period.
Date of Birth
Rape and sexual assault of two Whangarei girls under 12 between 1996 and 2000
Sentenced to twelve years in February 2008
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