An Indian man who came to Auckland to get a business-management qualification will go home to his wife and daughter with two sex convictions instead.
Dhaval Kadam, 31, came to the country in July last year on a two-year student visa but he will now be deported after being convicted of two counts of indecent assault against teenage girls.
Not only did the victims suffer the groping at the hands of the defendant but their trauma was stretched out over more than a year.
Kadam got through four lawyers and flip-flopped between admitting and denying the charges, throughout which he was granted name suppression by the court.
Judge Pippa Sinclair finally put an end to the fiasco last week when she denied his application to vacate his guilty pleas and sentenced him to 300 hours community work and 18 months intensive supervision. The sentence was academic though, as there was a deportation order in force against Kadam.
The incidents took place on two consecutive days on inter-city buses in Auckland and Northland.
On August 28 last year Kadam boarded a relatively quiet bus at Kawakawa and immediately sat near the 17-year-old victim, who was travelling alone.
He tried to talk to her but she could not understand him through his "heavy accent", Judge Sinclair said. Eventually, he sat next to the girl, forcing his shoulder and leg against hers.
When the girl asked him to move so she could get off in Whangarei, he remained seated and stood up as she tried to squeeze past him.
"She felt a hand [up her skirt] on her upper thigh and quickly moved away from him," the judge said.
The next day, Kadam was on another bus when two teenage girls boarded at Takapuna. When he got off the bus at Kawakawa he reached over and grabbed the right breast of one of the girls.
His lawyer Phil Hamlin said, despite the previous guilty pleas, his client wanted to defend the charges and his defence was that the molesting was "accidental".
Judge Sinclair did not accept Kadam's explanation.
Immigration New Zealand confirmed the 31-year-old would be deported later this month.