Child-rape sentence condemned as too light

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A victim rights group has slammed a sentence handed down to a Northland man for raping a 3-year-old girl and giving her a sexually-transmitted disease.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was sentenced to nine years and nine months' jail and given a minimum non-parole period of five years earlier this month for the methamphetamine-fuelled offending.

His abuse only came to light after a doctor confirmed the child had contracted a sexually transmitted disease. The man had been invited to stay in the girl's home but repaid the family's kindness by raping her, Judge Duncan Harvey said.

But Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Scott Guthrie said such a weak sentence handed down for a heinous crime made an "absolute mockery" of the judicial system.

"The question must be asked as to why any offender is entitled to a 25 per cent sentence discount for an early guilty plea. We are fed up to the back teeth with the softly softly approach.

"One minute Judge Harvey states this offender is among the worst of his kind and next minute he is giving him a discount for being helpful. What about the victim and the victim's family? What about justice for the community and keeping the community safe?"

Mr Guthrie said drug use is not an excuse for any kind of crime and it's time the Government shut this country's drug-peddling "clowns" down for ever.

"People are being murdered, raped and pillaged because of the horrific drug use that now seems to be a part of our daily life. This case once again exposes the folly of having a justice system that is excessively offender-friendly and ignorant of the ramifications to the victim and wider community."

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