Record jail term for 'exploitative' sex offender

Company rep Niven Andrew Todd's high sexual libido has driven him to a record jail sentence, after he admitted knowing the under-age girl with whom he had sex on his trips to trips to Hawke's Bay was a victim of sexual abuse.
His admission was revealed yesterday in the High Court in Napier as he was jailed for 6 1/2 years, the biggest sentence ever imposed in New Zealand for sex offences not including rape or sexual violation.
Todd, who turned 45 on Tuesday, faced three charges of unlawful sexual connection with the girl when she was aged 13 and 14, and eight of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl aged under 16 - most in the presence of the girl's mother, one of three people already in jail for abusing the girl.
He was also sentenced to a concurrent term of one year as a criminal nuisance, for having unprotected sex with the girl after he was diagnosed HIV-positive.
Justice Simon France stressed the girl was not infected, but the trauma awaiting results of tests forced by Todd's "risk-taking" was among the vast impacts she received.
Todd admitted having sex with the girl knowing she was aged under 16 years, but in a trial last month was acquitted on charges of rape and sexual violation, claiming consent.
Yesterday, Justice France said the acquittals, and guilty verdicts on the unlawful sexual connection charges, indicated the jury was "not happy" on the issue of consent.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning sought the maximum penalty, which was two years ago raised from seven to 10 years.
Unable to find comparable previous circumstances and agreeing it was the worst offending of its type, the judge started at six years, added two for the "full range" of activity involved and Todd's knowledge of previous events, and deducted 18 months to recognise the admissions.
Mr Manning said Todd only said what he needed to say without taking full responsibility, and Justice France was sure offences would have continued had text messages not been discovered on the girl's cellphone.
According to reports in court, she showed Todd newspaper clippings from two previous trials, relating to violation by her own father, and by predatory paedophile Bruce Shepherd who was sentenced to 13 years' jail a week before the last of Todd's encounters with the girl.
The offending took place mainly in motels used by Todd as an Auckland packaging company's marketing manager visiting Hawke's Bay.
The trial was told he first began a sexual relationship with the girl's mother, offering to save her money when mutual friends told him she was considering hiring an escort for sex.
He did not meet the girl until after an exchange of text messages of a sexual nature, and on the night they first met he fondled her as they sat with the girl's mother in a movie theatre, and had sex with the girl after joining the naked mother and daughter in a motel spa pool.
Further offences, including the mother's own violation of the girl and her aiding and abetting of offences by Todd, took place on three of his subsequent visits, during which Todd supplied her with alcohol, cannabis and a sexual stimulant.
Ironically, the mother was in March sentenced to eight years' jail after pleading guilty to charges including aiding and abetting rape by Todd - although he was eventually acquitted on the most serious charge.
Justice France said he was unconvinced that Todd appreciated the full impact on the girl.
He said Todd was "highly exploitative to satisfy his own sexual desires".

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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