A Rotorua man who indecently exposed himself in front of a group of children at a city reserve, and who has 34 previous convictions for similar offending, has been sentenced to four months' home detention.
Barry William Pauley, 51, appeared in the Rotorua District Court yesterday for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to performing an indecent act in a public place.
He was released from prison in December last year after being jailed for similar offending.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of fraudulently using a document.
According to the police summary of facts, Pauley cycled to the Wrigley Rd Reserve on April 14 where he sat on the grass overlooking a new skate park and began reading a book.
There were a number of children in the area.
He indecently exposed himself and performed an indecent act. Some of the children asked him why he was acting the way he was and Pauley told the children that most people did what he was doing.
Pauley continued to talk to the children because he was "lonely and was enjoying their company", the summary stated.
He told police he had become stressed with ongoing issues in his life relating to debt and other problems. He said he accepted he needed medical help and that previous prison sentences had never helped him address his behaviour.
The court had heard that Pauley had 34 previous convictions for doing an indecent act in a public place.
The fraud charge related to Pauley altering his vehicle road user label and warrant of fitness. He told police he made the alterations as he could not afford to pay to keep his vehicle current. The court heard this was his third conviction for similar offending.
Pauley's lawyer Gisele Schweizer gave a letter to the judge written by Pauley. Mrs Schweizer asked that her client be sentenced to home detention as Pauley was finally at a point in his life where he recognised his offending was unacceptable and that he needed to change.
He had demonstrated a high level of remorse and was receiving psychological counselling.
"He has a real fear that a return to prison will send him right back to square one," Mrs Schweizer said.
Pauley wanted to complete his counselling and home detention before making a fresh start and heading to the Philippines to join his partner, she said.
Judge Jocelyn Munro said past prison sentences had not worked for Pauley and all that the jail terms had done was keep Pauley away from the public for a period of time.
Judge Munro said Pauley had shown a real desire to address his problems which she saw as psychological rather than an intention to engage in criminal activity.
Home detention would keep Pauley away from the public but would also allow him to get the help he needed, Judge Munro said.