Jason Karl Yorke
From the Marlborough Express 2nd September 2011
A Blenheim man awaiting sentence on multiple sex charges against two teenagers received threatening text messages and was identified on Facebook by the victims' families despite an interim order of name suppression, according to his lawyer. Defence lawyer Rob Harrison said Jason Karl Yorke's partner had also been harassed at her workplace. The 39-year-old labourer was sentenced in the Blenheim District Court yesterday on five charges of unlawful sexual connection and three charges of performing an indecent act with girls under 16.
He was sent to prison for three years and eight months with no early parole and was also ordered to pay $1500 in emotional harm. The offending occurred between 2009 and 2010. Judge Stephen Harrop denied Yorke final name suppression, but suppressed the relationship between him and his victims. They were not his children. Mr Harrison argued Yorke's children would be at risk if his name was published. Name suppression would also prevent others from publicising his name further. Since Yorke admitted the charges in June, he and his partner had received threatening text messages from members of the families.
His name had also been posted on social-networking site Facebook, which prompted members of the public to approach his partner at her workplace. While the victims' families would not be able to get Yorke while he was in prison they could get to his family, he said. A woman was charged and fined for misuse of a telephone for sending one of the text messages, but no further action had been taken against the Facebook post after police had warned the user, he said. Crown prosecutor Jackson Webber said those affected by the case already knew who he was, and threats in prison were not unusual for people convicted of sexual offending and name suppression would not change that.
There was some sympathy for Yorke's children but no strong reason for name suppression, he said. Protecting the victims could be done by suppressing the relationship. Judge Harrop did not see any "practical effect" in ordering final name suppression, but said it would have an impact on the children. "I'm sceptical any order will make a difference ... people who have been apparently breaching the order will likely be inclined to breach a final suppression order." There was no suggestion the children would suffer retribution. "Families of the victims will make a distinction between someone you [Yorke] choose to live with and your children." Judge Harrop took into account Yorke's early guilty plea and his remorse.
Date of Birth
Unlawful sexual connection (x5) and performing an indecent act with girls under sixteen (x3) in Blenheim from 2009 until 2010
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to 3 years 8 months without parole in September 2011
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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