Jonathan Paul Yorke
The Press (Christchurch), March 27th 1998
Jonathan Paul Yorke, 16, was on a sex offenders' programme when he sodomised a boy sharing a halfway house where he lived. On Friday last week, Judge Stephen Erber jailed Yorke for four years and three months. On Friday, in the Christchurch District Court, Judge Erber said Yorke was a serious risk to the public. A report on Yorke said he manipulated other children. It was clear Yorke needed psychiatric intervention, Judge Erber said.
Yorke's lawyer, Gilbert Hay, who acts for many Christchurch youth offenders, said he was concerned about the rising numbers of young people going to jail. In his experience he had seen a trend of more serious violent and sexual offences. "The public has a right to be protected." Police youth aid head Chris Roper said 19 Christchurch offenders under 17 have been jailed in the past 22 months. In three months this year, four have been jailed. "I'm concerned about the number of kids going to prison." Sergeant Roper said there should be a clear message to young people that their offending would not go unpunished.
Whangarei High Court sentencing remarks of Justice Randerson as follows:
Dealing with your prior history, the psychologists’ report notes that the first official record shows that you physically assaulted a ten year old girl in April 1994 when you would have been 13 years of age, and that you assaulted another boy later the same year. Your first recorded sexual assault was around the same time when you indecently assaulted a 12 year old girl. The next recorded sexual incident was in January 1995 when you visited a 91 year old woman and are reported to have masturbated in front of her.
Six months later, in July 1995, you physically assaulted an eight year old female for which you were charged and convicted of assault with intent to injure. Three months later in October 1995, you committed a further violent offence when you physically assaulted a 15 year old female, resulting in your conviction on a charge of assault with intent to rob. You later disclosed that this last offence, along with the prior incident in April 1994, was sexually motivated.
Your first conviction for sexual offending was a charge of indecent assault committed in May 1996 on a 12 year old female. You were dealt with in the Youth Court and placed in a specialist group home for adolescent sexual offenders. The purpose of that programme was to enable you to undergo treatment at the STOP Adolescent Programme. It was while you were participating in this programme that you sexually violated a 15 year old male resident. It was that conviction that resulted in your sentence for four and a half years which you completed in March 2002.
These are, first, that at the age of 23, you have yet to gain full maturity. Secondly, as was the case in Bailey, although your offending has been persistent and serious, the kinds of offences you have committed have not progressed since your release from prison to the most serious types of sexual offending. Thirdly, I am of the view that a sentence of preventive detention would be disproportionately severe given the nature of the offences for which you appear before the Court. Fourthly, I consider that the community can be adequately protected by a finite sentence which is longer than normal but which would not unduly distort current sentencing patterns for similar offending.
Fifthly, and this is an important factor in my consideration, there is now provision, as I have mentioned, under s107I of the Parole Act 2002for the Court to make an extended supervision order in the case of offenders who pose a real and ongoing risk of committing sexual offences against children or young persons. An extended supervision order may be made on the application of the Chief Executive of the Department for Corrections before the expiry of your sentence. An extended supervision order may be made for a term of up to ten years and may include both standard release conditions and special conditions imposed by the Parole Board.
The advantage of an extended supervision order is that it may be made upon the application of the Chief Executive and considered in the light of your circumstances at the time the application is made towards the end of your sentence. By that time, you will have been involved in therapeutic programmes while in prison and your response to them can be assessed at that time. If you are released at that point, your release into the community can be monitored and your case supervised much more closely and over an extended period of time. By that means, the community will have a greater degree of confidence that you will not re-offend in the future.
It is, of course, for the Chief Executive to decide whether an application for an extended supervision order will be made in the future. That is something over which this Court does not have any direct control. However, I will take steps to ensure that my sentencing remarks are made available to the Parole Board so that the Board is aware of my reasons for imposing a finite sentence rather than a sentence of preventive detention.
Date of Birth
Sentenced to 4 years 3 months in March 1998
Released March 2002
Sentenced to 5 years with a 3 year minimum non-parole period in October 2004
Released under a 10 year supervision order at sentence end date June 2009
Additional Photos & Files
Associated Media Links Jonathon Yorke Sentencing Notes
OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
|Event Date||Event||Court Location||Offence Type||Offence Date||Committed While||Sentence Imposed|
|08-10-2004||Sentencing Date is approx||High Court Whangarei||Indecent assault on a girl between 12 and 16 years old||2003||5 Years, Imprisonment||▼|