Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Man jailed for sex with 12-year-old

Beant Singh Gill will soon be deported to India. Photo / File
Beant Singh Gill will soon be deported to India. Photo / File

A man who had sex with a 12-year-old girl and was caught with photos of decapitated bodies has been jailed for nearly two and a half years.

But because of the 10 months 21-year-old Beant Singh Gill has spent in custody he will soon be deported to India.

He appeared in Auckland District Court this afternoon having pleaded guilty to charges of sexual connection with a young person, possession of objectionable material and corrupting a witness.

Gill would have been sentenced sooner but earlier this year he cut off his electronically-monitored-bail bracelet and hit the road.

Police said the defendant was thought to be fruit picking in the Bay of Plenty and using the names "Happy Gill" or "Benny Gill" and he was eventually arrested at the end of April.

Defence lawyer Daniel Schellenberg said his client's problems began in October 2014 when he met a 12-year-old girl through online dating site "Tagged".

The pair began a sexual relationship and though Gill believed she was over 16 initially, they carried on seeing each other after she had revealed her age.

"This offending really represents a significant fall from grace," Mr Schellenberg said.

"[It] really was naive and foolish. He's remorseful and ashamed of himself."

When the 12-year-old's mum went to police, officers seized Gill's cellphone where they found much more than just incriminating messages between him the victim.

On the phone were two objectionable videos, one of which depicted a 50-year-old man raping a 10-year-old child.

And they also found two photos of an adult female body with no head in "what appears to be a murder scene".

Another picture showed the severed head with an Asian male crouching next to it, the summary of facts said.

Gill was later charged with corrupting a witness too after messaging the girl on Facebook about the allegations against him.

"I always pray that ur mom will withdraw the case lol," he wrote in one.

"do u think u can save me in court if I go to trial?" another said.

In February 2015 the pair also secretly met in Onehunga where the victim showed Gill her mother's police statement.

Judge Christopher Field jailed him for two years five months but noted his impending parole eligibility would see him returned to India shortly.

"This experience will affect him for the rest of his life," his lawyer said. "He's learned this type of behaviour is simply unacceptable."

- NZ Herald

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