Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Girl fears her rapist will come after her when he's out of prison

The judge sentenced Robert Boyd to 10 years and four months in prison and gave him a first-strike warning. Photo / File
The judge sentenced Robert Boyd to 10 years and four months in prison and gave him a first-strike warning. Photo / File

A young girl raped by a West Coast farm worker who fled to Australia days before his trial fears he will come looking for her once he's served his 10-year jail term.

Robert Boyd was sentenced today at Christchurch District Court after earlier being found guilty of raping a child under 12 at a farm on the West Coast of the South Island on July 31, 2011.

The 42-year-old had denied three charges of sexual connection with a child under 12 between April 1 and July 20, 2011, and one charge of sexual connection with a child under 12 on July 31, 2011. He admitted separate charges of assault with a blunt instrument and common assault on two other individuals.

The child's identity is protected by statutory suppressions.

Today, a harrowing victim impact statement, which was read to the court, outlined how the assaults had affected her life "in every way".

She feels "lonely and dirty" and has difficulty in trusting anyone, especially men.

The victim said she can't walk down the street alone and has difficulty sleeping at night.

She doesn't think counselling will ever help her.

The girl worries that once Boyd is released from jail, that he'll go looking for her, after he threatened to do so, the court heard.

The Crown said that Boyd assaulted the girl on two occasions. Both times she pleaded with Boyd to stop, the Crown said.

Afterwards, Boyd told the girl not to tell anybody what had happened, the court heard.

The girl's school later heard of the allegations and police were informed.

On August 7, 2011, Boyd was arrested and he was granted electronically-monitored bail.
In January 2013, he applied for an extension to his approved release so he could attend a doctor's appointment.

It was approved on the condition that Boyd, who got married in August 2012 and took his wife's surname, return to his house by 7pm on January 24.

However, Boyd fled to Christchurch where he used a passport that he obtained under his wife's surname to board a flight to Sydney - four days before his trial.

He was arrested by Australian Federal Police in May 2013 and extradited to New Zealand in January last year.

Boyd continues to maintain his innocence, defence counsel Marcus Zintl said this afternoon.

"He's had his own struggles or difficulties, and continues to do so," Zintl said.

Judge Jane Farish noted that Boyd had lived a "pretty appalling" childhood.

She described the "very serious" offending on the vulnerable child as being opportunistic.

Threats that Boyd would come after the girl was a significant aggravating factor, the judge said.

Judge Farish sentenced Boyd to 10 years and four months in prison and gave him a first-strike warning.

After careful consideration, Judge Farish decided not to impose a minimum period of imprisonment.

- NZ Herald

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