An 84-year-old Napier man faces the possibility of being one of the oldest people in New Zealand to be sentenced to prison after he admitted to sexually abusing three young boys over a period of more than 10 years.
Some of the charges were the focus of a jury trial which opened on Monday at the Napier District Court, but yesterday he entered guilty pleas to 10 charges, before the trial having admitted to three other charges.
An order was made for the permanent suppression of his name in order to protect the identities of his victims.
In the trial's opening address, crown prosecutor Steve Manning said the man was found to have kept a diary, parts of which were written in code, that detailed his sexual exploits with one of his victims.
Diary entries about the victim included the phrases "absolutely gorgeous" and "love watching him". Eventually a relationship developed between the two and their sexual conduct evolved, a relationship which continued as the child grew up.
The offending occurred between 2000 and 2011. The boy was eight when it was thought to have started. He is now aged 20.
Money and gifts were given to the boy as the relationship continued in what Mr Manning described in his opening address in the trial as a "subtle" form of grooming.
"[He] believed he was in a relationship with this young boy. He said he loved him, he made entries in his diary about him."
The offending ended last year when the victim told his mother what had been happening and police were quickly notified.
In total, the man pleaded guilty to 13 charges against three victims, 11 of which were against the neighbouring boy. All charges were representative except one, meaning there was frequent abuse.
He was remanded on bail for sentencing on January 21.