Catherine Gaffaney is a general reporter based in Auckland.

Recidivist sex offender jailed

A recidivist sex offender has been jailed for six years for 10 counts of sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl he met through Tinder. Photo / File
A recidivist sex offender has been jailed for six years for 10 counts of sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl he met through Tinder. Photo / File

A recidivist sex offender has been jailed for six years for 10 counts of sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl he met through Tinder.

Jareth James Graham De Bussieres Fittall, 28, was sentenced in the High Court at Auckland today to six years imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of three years.

In 2011, Fittall, then 23, was jailed for two years and eight months for raping his then girlfriend's 16-year-old best friend.

He had lured the teenage virgin with promises of love and marriage but wanted "quick sex", the court heard during the 2010 trial.

The recent offending began when Fittall, aged 27, created an account through the dating app, Tinder, with a fictitious name and age of 17.

The fake age allowed him to converse and build a relationship with the victim, who was 15 at the time.

Fittall denied the sexual conduct but, at the beginning of the jury trial for the case, pleaded guilty to supplying class C drugs, namely cannabis and codeine, to a person under 18.

Fittall was assessed by Dr Olibera Djokovic, a psychiatrist, and Dr Sanjeeta Sharma, a clinical psychologist, who both found he had a moderate to high risk of reoffending if he didn't engage in rehabilitation programmes.

Djokovic noted he had a background of professional mental health intervention from early childhood and said the source of his behaviour needed to be addressed.

Sharma believed Fittall showed a willingness to address his offending by attending child sex offender therapy and counselling, and recommended a sentence which allowed for intensive rehabilitation treatment and extended supervision.

In court today, Justice John Fogarty said he accepted the analyses of Fittall, as well as the Crown's recommendation of a five year sentence with a 50 per cent non-parole period to allow for adequate treatment.

Fogarty added an additional year to Fittal's sentence in recognition of his previous conviction for rape.

"The term of imprisonment is designed to protect the community and to allow sufficient time for the rehabilitation programmes to be put in to effect," he said.

"I am driven by protection of the community, rather than culpability analysis, which might justify a lower sentence."

Fittall, who wept uncontrollably when found guilty of rape in November 2010, today stared straight ahead while being sentenced, not engaging in eye contact with Fogarty.

- NZ Herald

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