Mark Stanley Williams
From Bay of Plenty Times story 13th May 2009
What began as a seemingly innocent massage for a young girl by a Western Bay man culminated in her being sexually molested by him twice. Mark Williams, 45, who was found guilty at trial on two counts of indecentassault on female aged under 12 but acquitted of a rape charge, appeared in Tauranga District Court for sentencing yesterday. He was jailed for 2 and-a-half years.
The offences occurred at Williams' Tauranga home between September and October 2007 and involved Williams touching the-then 9-year-old victim's chest and groin during what began as a seemingly innocent massage. Crown prosecutor Catherine Harold said Williams' offending was a "gross breach of trust" committed on a vulnerable victim and deserved a prison sentence of three to three-and-a-half years.
There was a degree of premeditation in his actions and, given that there were two offences and because Williams continued to deny responsibility, there were no significant factors in mitigation to lessen his sentence, she said. Williams' lawyer, David Bates, said he could not accept the Crown's view thathis client's offending would justify a sanction outside the range of home detention.
Mr Bates argued that at most, Williams could be jailed for 18 months. Home detention was appropriate for his client given the facts of the offending. "The risk of any inappropriate contact or conduct in relation to his new baby is really out of the question, it just wouldn't happen for whole host of reasons." Williams would have adequate supervision and guidance to minimise any risk or reoffending, he said.
Mr Bates was also highly critical of agencies, such as Child, Youth and Family Services, who were contacted by the pre-sentence report writer and had objected to Williams being considered for home detention. It was a matter for the court and the sentencing judge to determine, he said. Mr Bates said home detention was not automatically out of the question for some sexual offending cases, and his client was one of those and an appropriate candidate for such a sentence.
Judge Peter Rollo disagreed. He told Williams that he agreed with the Crown that his offending had been the"most gross breach of trust as one could envisage" and "a portrayal of the victim's trust to met his own base desires". The extent of harm to the victim and her mother was substantial.
Judge Rollo said a prison term of 2 and-a-half years was appropriate on behalf of the victim and the community as a deterrent to him and others that sexual offending would not be tolerated on any level.
Date of Birth
1964 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Sentenced to two years six months in May 2009
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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