From the Waikato Times 7th September 2002
Francis Worthington told the 4-year-old girl he had just kidnapped from her bed to "shut up" when she cried as he sexually violated her. When he was finished he started his van, drove her back to her Hamilton home, and dumped her in the driveway with her father asleep inside. Yesterday in the Hamilton District Court, the 39-year-old was sentenced to 10 years in prison with a non-parole period of six years and eight months. He had earlier pleaded guilty to kidnapping, burglary and sexual violation.
It was the early hours of June 29 last year when Worthington stole the little girl from her bed and drove her to a secluded spot in Hamilton. Judge Neil MacLean said what Worthington had done would affect the girl her whole life. "Hopefully she's young enough that the psychological influence of this may in time diminish but we just don't know what the long-term lasting effects will be." A victim impact statement by the 4-year-old's mother read: "Mr Worthington has not only violated her body, he has violated her mind. She has become emotionally withdrawn, and is having nightmares."
Worthington's mother gasped in the back of the court as she heard what her son had done. How, loaded up on speed and alcohol, he sneaked into the little girl's house through the open back door and stole her from her bed. How the girl's father heard nothing because he was still asleep from taking painkillers Worthington had given him for a sore shoulder while they were drinking. How Worthington carried the girl to his van and drove her to the secluded spot and told her to "shut up" as she cried because - as she later told police - it hurt. Worthington was arrested after his DNA matched that he had left behind on the girl.
Crown prosecutor Rowan Butler said Worthington told police later he knew when he went to take the girl what he was about to do was "tantamount to suicide". He wondered to himself while he was doing it why he was subjecting her to it - "but he couldn't help himself". Mr Butler asked Judge MacLean to consider sending Worthington to the High Court for a sentence of preventive detention but the request was turned down. Defence counsel Wayne Dollimore asked the judge to consider Worthington's extreme remorse and his willingness to address his offending.
At the time Worthington's marriage had broken down, he was isolated and lonely, having financial difficulties, and as a consequence was resorting to alcohol and drugs. "He is a man that is consumed by genuine remorse."Judge MacLean said: "She was in a vulnerable situation where she was unable to react in any meaningful way to what was being done. Totally helpless, and her father was in a situation as well where he was unaware of what was going on. "It goes without saying this is something which will affect her for the rest of her life."
Date of Birth
Kidnaping and sexual violation of a four year old Hamilton girl in June 2001
At large in Melville, Hamilton
Sentenced to 10 years with a 6 year 8 month non-parole period in September 2002
Was released late 2009
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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