Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Abuser living next door to victim moves

A man found guilty of sexually abusing his neighbour's granddaughter was bailed to live up their shared driveway. Photo / iStock
A man found guilty of sexually abusing his neighbour's granddaughter was bailed to live up their shared driveway. Photo / iStock

A man found guilty of sexually abusing his neighbour's granddaughter and then bailed to live up their shared driveway and just 30m from where his victim lives has left his property.

In December the Herald revealed that the man, who is on bail awaiting sentencing in June, had been on bail at the address since his arrest when the victim was eight.

She is now 10.

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Her family said their home had become a prison and "an absolute hell" because of Judge Anna Johns' decision in November to continue the man's bail until sentencing.

The man, in his 70s, has name suppression. That was granted because he lives next door to the victim, who has automatic and permanent name secrecy due to the sexual nature of the charges.

A jury found him guilty of two representative charges of sexual conduct with a child under 12 after a three-day trial last year.

His sentencing has been delayed until after a second trial later this year in which he will stand accused of offending against another child.

The victim's grandfather told the Herald that the man had moved from the house earlier this month.

The grandfather said the victim and her entire family were relieved the man had moved but were still angry that he had been allowed to live there in the first place.

"When we saw the removal van arrive, everybody let out a sigh of relief. Now, all we want to do is have his suppression lifted," he said.

The family also wanted the man's sentencing date brought forward so they could have the case resolved and move on. To wait until June would be torture, they said.

They have spoken to the Crown prosecutor working on the case to see if that was possible and it is understood an application may soon be made.

- NZ Herald

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