Christopher Peter Zaal
From a Southland Times story 20th November 2002
"It is my duty to impose a sentence that will protect the community." - Justice Chisholm A MAN with a history of sexual offending spanning 30 years was yesterday jailed indefinitely, following six more convictions in the High Court at Invercargill. Justice Chisholm ordered that Christopher Peter Zaal not be eligible for parole for at least 10 years. The 45-year-old admitted two representative charges of sexual violation and four charges of indecent assault, one of which was a representative charge, against two boys and two girls between October last year and February this year. Preventive detention is effectively a life sentence. It is an indeterminate sentence for offenders over 18 classified as dangerous. The minimum non-parole period for preventive detention is five years.
Court security was tightened for Zaal's appearance. Five uniformed police officers, along with three detectives were present and access from the public gallery to the dock was blocked. At a previous appearance in August, a woman was tackled to the ground by a family member after lunging towards Zaal before the court convened. Zaal's lawyer Bill Dawkins described the background to Zaal's offending which began when he was physically, sexually and mentally abused in his home as a child and continued while he was a 14-year-old patient at Lake Alice Hospital in Manawatu. Last year, Zaal was one of 95 former patients who received a formal apology and compensation from the Government for abuse suffered at the hospital. Crown prosector Mary-Jane Thomas said the time had come for Zaal to take responsibility for his actions. He had a lifelong pattern of offending against children and showed no obvious empathy for his victims. While at large he continued to pose a risk to the community.
Justice Chisholm said Zaal's was "an extremely sad case." Although he had failed to stop offending, it was not too difficult to understand the torment that had been part of his life virtually from the beginning. "However, it is necessary for me to assess this dispassionately and realistically. "The reality is that despite your efforts, you have failed and unfortunately the psychiatric information cannot provide me with any real optimism that further psychiatric intervention would alter the situation," he said. "It is my duty to impose a sentence that will protect the community." Throughout the sentencing Zaal sat in the dock, shaking, his head bowed. His demeanour did not alter as the sentence was delivered. A large group in the public gallery sat silently during proceedings but hurled abuse as the court closed and Zaal was led away by prison officers.
Zaal's offending history began in 1971 when he was admitted to Lake Alice Hospital after he was caught sexually experimenting with another boy. He was readmitted in 1974 after indecently assaulting young boys. In 1976 was sentenced to six months for two further charges of indecent assault on boys, with further charges and another six months in 1984, nine months in 1985 for yet more similar charges. In 1990 he was sentenced to nine years and 11 months for 22 more charges of indecent assault involving 11 boys and one charge of sex with a girl under 16. He then completed the Kia Marama treatment programme for which he received a positive report, after which he moved to Invercargill and raped and sexually abused his latest victims. The treatment did not work.
Date of Birth
1957 (D.O.B. is approximate)
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to preventive detention with a 10 year minimum non-parole period in November 2002
Jailed for 9 years 11 months in 1990
Earliest parole date November 2012
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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