Man jailed after 21 years of 'horrendous' sexual offending

By Cherie Taylor -
File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

"Horrendous" is how a judge has described Jim Wilson's 21 years of sexual offending against a female victim, starting when she was four years old.

Gilbert James Wilson, aka Jim Wilson, 76, was sentenced today by Judge Ian Mill in Masterton District Court to nine years' jail on a raft of sexual assault charges committed between 1970 and 1991 on a victim, who is now 47. The offending happened at Tolaga Bay, near Gisborne; in Wairarapa and in Wellington.

Throughout sentencing Wilson, who previously pleaded guilty to 10 representative charges including rape, unlawful sexual connection, indecencies with an animal and indecent assault on a girl, sat rocking backwards and forwards in a wheelchair staring at the floor. At times he wiped tears from his eyes as he listened to submissions by the Crown and his defence lawyer. He had tried to kill himself when the offending came to light, the court heard.

A victim impact statement was read to the court by a victim's advisor who said the woman stated her life had been ruined by Wilson.

Her son hadn't spoken to her since the abuse came to light and her daughter was also struggling, the court heard.

"No words can describe what [the offender] has done to me. He has ruined my life ... I lost my childhood, my babyhood was not normal."

Growing up she felt controlled by Wilson, was not allowed to make friends or socialise and was left confused and feeling guilty by the abuse she experienced, the reader said.

"He was devious and manipulative. I was, and still am confused. It is worse now. It is clear to me what he did was wrong ... all I wanted was for the abuse to stop."

When she told her mother, she was not believed and beaten by her, the court heard.

Her self esteem and self confidence had been rocked and she had been left feeling ashamed by the abuse, her victim impact statement stated.

"I thought I could help him ... I was isolated and unable to socialise because of the shame. I don't trust people."

Crown prosecutor Geraldine Kelly said there was "degradation and indignities" involved in the abuse which involved many forms of sexual abuse including him trying to force her to have sex with a dog. She suggested a starting point of between 12 and 13 years' jail was appropriate.

As a child the victim had been beaten by her mother and unbelieved.

"There was a high level of premeditation ... there was a gross abuse of trust ... she was subjected to violence from her mother ... she was a vulnerable and defenceless victim ... It was for his own sexual gratification at a formative time in her life and continued until she was an adult. It has had a severe impact physically, emotionally and psychologically."

Wilson's lawyer Jock Blathwayt said his client admitted the offending and had not sexually abused anyone else.

Judge Mill said the victim suffered abuse daily from Wilson who created situations to be alone with her and threatened her so his offending could continue.

It was "far too late to protect the community" from Wilson, he said.

"It's fairly grim reading ... there are no words to describe what you have done to her. You have ruined her life ... untold harm has been done to her. This was horrendous abuse."

He sentenced Wilson to six years' jail on the rape counts adding another three years to be served cumulatively on sodomy, sexual violation and unlawful sexual connection.

Wilson was sentenced to one years' imprisonment to be served concurrently for indecently assaulting the girl and a dog.

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