R v Meretana [2018] NZDC 4143

Published 30 November 2018

Sentencing — rape — indecent assault — indecency with a girl aged between 12 and 16 — historical offending — R v R — R v Pawa — R v Puru — R v AM — R v Devery — R v Elwin. The defendant appeared for sentencing after being found guilty of a charge of rape, a charge of indecent assault and a charge of indecency with a girl aged between 12 and 16. The offending occurred over 40 years ago, the victims being the defendant's two step-daughters. As the offending was historical, the judge was required to consider the penalties that were imposed around the time that the offending occurred. Case law from 1973 to 1979 was considered. Similar offending occurred in R v Puru and the Court of Appeal said that a sentence of five years would be adequate to mark society’s denunciation of this conduct, to punish the offender and take into account the abuse of trust. Aggravating factors were premeditation, the length of time over which the offending occurred, the defendant's complete lack of remorse and the vulnerability of the victims. The victims were both young and in the care of the defendant. A starting sentence of 6 years' imprisonment was given. This was reduced by 12 months for the defendant's good character. The final sentence was 5 years' imprisonment. Judgment Date: 6 March 2018.