Deportee jailed

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A New Zealand-born Australian deportee has been sentenced to 18 months' prison for historic sex offences.

Hastings man, Haimona Justin Tawhi, 29, was arrested upon arrival at Auckland Airport in December last year for a historical sex offence against a young girl.

He had been returned to New Zealand following the tightening of Australia laws relating to non-citizen offenders at the end of last year.

Tawhi appeared at Napier District Court today after pleading guilty in May to two charges relating to the sexual violation and indecent assault of a Hastings girl, who was aged under 12 at the time of the offending.

Judge Bridget Mackintosh told the court the offending took place over a two-year period between August 2007 and August 2009.

The judge said the offending happened when Tawhi was aged in his early twenties.
He had been staying at a house where the victim was, and the pair were sleeping in the lounge, along with others, when the incident happened.

The girl had been asleep on a lazy-boy couch when Tawhi approached her and indecently sexually abused her.

Tawhi was initially granted name suppression but this was discontinued at a previous court appearance where he admitted the charges.

He was one of the men deported to New Zealand from minimum security prison Karnet Prison Farm, south of Perth.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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