'High-risk' convicted rapist to be freed after serving full sentence

By Anneke Smith -
Convicted rapist Richard Miller of Napier will be freed in October after serving a full sentence of almost 10 years' imprisonment. Photo / File
Convicted rapist Richard Miller of Napier will be freed in October after serving a full sentence of almost 10 years' imprisonment. Photo / File

A Napier man convicted of serious sex crimes against young girls will be released from prison later this year despite being deemed "an undue risk to the safety of the community".

Richard Miller, 55, will have served his full sentence of nine years and nine months' imprisonment in October this year after being convicted of sex charges detailing the rape and sexual abuse of four young girls between 1990 and 2008.

Miller, who was eligible for parole in April 2011, has never admitted his offending and has also alleged collusion between the victims, their families and the police.

He did not appear for his latest parole hearing on April 4 and remained "adamant" he would not comply with any of the board's requirements; intending to complete his full sentence.

Last seen by the board in November 2016, Miller had undergone one-to-one psychological treatment spanning 14 sessions "on the basis that he hypothetically offended".

The board noted in its report that this was a "curious position" and stated that psychological opinion was to the effect that he was a "high risk sexual offender".

Miller was found guilty of committing an indecent act on a 6-year-old in September 2008 after he was spotted in a car with her by a Napier community patrol volunteer in Nelson Park.

The extent of his sexual offending was brought to light by this incident and resulted in the police reopening past claims of sexual abuse against Miller.

He had sexually abused several girls over the course of 18 years; raping one of them twice at ages 10 and 11 while he was her babysitter in 1990.

In his 2008 trial the court heard he had "cultivated the girls' families" to get into a position of trust.

He earned an extra three months' imprisonment after making a shooting gesture to the public gallery where several of his victims stood at the end of his trial.

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar said Miller's sentence, although fully served, was "pathetic" and reflected an ideology that the rights of offenders come before the rights of victims.

"It's inhumane, cruel and barbaric to the victims and also to the wider community. It's one of the biggest contributing factors to the child abuse rates and high recidivism in this country."

Final release conditions will be fixed when Miller is before the board one last time in September.

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