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Teuila Fuatai

Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Former osteopath convicted of more sex offences

Gisborne osteopath Richard James Davis in the dock in the High Court at Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Gisborne osteopath Richard James Davis in the dock in the High Court at Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Convicted sex offender and former Gisborne osteopath Richard Davis has pleaded guilty to seven more sexual offending charges.

Davis, who sentenced last year on 15 previous sex and indecent offence charges, was handed a sentence of seven years and seven months imprisonment by Justice David Collins for three sexual violation and four indecent assault charges today.

He appeared at the High Court in Wellington for a sentencing indication, then proceeded to plead guilty and be sentenced.

The imprisonment period was handed down for each charge, however they would be served concurrently.

The offending involved Davis' patients he was treating at his Gisborne osteopath practice. One victim was 13.

The offending occurred between June 2006 and November 2011.

Justice Collins said Davis' offending was premeditated, not spontaneous and involved calculated decisions.

"You used your role as a health professional to get your victims into a position where you could sexually offend against them.

"You asked your victims to undress when they were alone in your consulting room. When they were lying on the treatment table, and in that position you sexually violated them or performed acts of indecent assault upon them."

The victims had come to Davis for treatment of pain and had placed a high level of trust in him as a health professional, Justice Collins said.

"When I went through the victim impact statements last night, it was striking how their comments mirrored those of the victims that I sentenced you for on the 29 October [2013]. Most still are deeply offended by the high level of the breach of trust that they suffered."

Justice Collins adopted a starting point of eight years and six months imprisonment. This was reduced to seven years and seven months because Davis had acknowledged the offending, pleaded guilty and "most importantly" relieved the seven complainants of the stress of having to give evidence in a trial, Justice Collins said.

- APNZ

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