A former Hawke's Bay jockey has been jailed for six years for years of sexual abuse and violence against a young girl who told him in court today he had robbed her of a childhood that should have been focused on dolls and pretty pink dresses.
"I couldn't just be a normal little girl. Instead, I was always worried about when you might touch me again," the young woman told David John Frethey as she read her victim impact statement in Napier District Court.
Now 16, the young woman said she could still "vividly visualise" every incident of the abuse Frethey began inflicting on her when she was just six, after forming a friendship with her solo mother.
"Even asleep, I am haunted by everything he did to me," the girl told the court.
"The thoughts in my head will not go away. I wish I could get in the shower and wash it all away."
During the next seven years, as Frethey used violence to ensure the girl's silence about his offending, she began cutting her legs with scissors at school, and hitting herself with a chain in her bedroom at home.
Her behaviour became so bad she could barely live under the same roof as her mother. As she got older, she used alcohol, which Frethey began plying her with at age eight, and cannabis, to "send me into another world, a fantasy world" without Frethey, she told the court today.
At 13 she became pregnant to a young man, and now had a two-year-old son.
Frethey, 55, was found guilty by a jury in January of four representative charges of indecent assault against the girl, another of inducing her to do an indecent act upon him, three representative counts of physical violence against her, and three specific charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice by paying or persuading people to make phone calls or write letters to welfare and social agencies, claiming fraud and aberrant sexual behaviour by the girl, her mother, and their friends.
The girl's mother said Frethey had taken a huge toll on her and her daughter, but his lack of remorse was evident "as soon as you pleaded not guilty".
Judge Geoff Rea told the court today that after Frethey was arrested he had tried his best to derail the police investigation into the girl's allegations by attempting to discredit those he thought might give evidence against him.
Even after the guilty verdicts at his trial, Frethey told a probation officer he was guilty of nothing except using violence against the girl on one occasion.
"Then you have the audacity to write me a letter to tell me you are remorseful. That smacks of desperation, "Judge Rea said.
He sentenced Frethey to four years in jail on each of the five sexual offences, to be served concurrently.
On each of the three counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice, he sentenced Frethey to two years, to be served concurrently.
However, those two years are to be served cumulatively with the sexual offence sentences, giving Frethey a total of six years behind bars.