An ex teacher from Lower Hutt has been given home detention for sex offences against a student more than 30 years ago.

The 73-year-old's victim has described how she once threw herself out of a moving car to avoid talking about her trauma to a partner, and how she has had to resign from her job due to stress since police began investigating the decades-old offences.

The man, who has interim name suppression, appeared in the Wellington District Court this morning for sentencing on the crimes, which happened in the mid 1980s while he was working as a high school teacher.

Judge Bill Hastings declined an application for name suppression, but defence lawyer Michael Bott announced his intention to appeal the decision, meaning the man's name must remain secret for now.

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Bott said naming the man could exacerbate his elderly wife's medical condition, and claimed the couple had to move from their family home due to harassment in the form of phone calls that were immediately hung up upon answering, and an out-of-date police business card being left in their letterbox.

During sentencing, Judge Hastings said the offending happened on three separate occasions with a female student. The man was running an extracurricular group which the victim was part of. She was aged between 13 and 15 at the time, and the offender was in his 30s.

On the first occasion the victim and another student were sleeping in a caravan with the man after a night-time event for their group. The man indecently assaulted her and ejaculated on her, Judge Hastings said.

On the second occasion he took her to a friend's house where there was pornographic movie playing, and gave her beer, waiting for his friend to leave the room before kissing and touching her.

The third offence happened at the school and involved more touching.

In a victim impact statement read out in court by the Crown prosecutor, the victim described how she is so affected by the offending that even an unexpected tap on the shoulder from her partner makes her jump.

Once when driving with a partner who would "hound" her for information about the offending, the victim was so distressed she threw herself out of the moving car "just so I could get away from talking about [the offender]".

The offending has had a profound effect on her relationships and how she parented her own children.

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"It's like I'm walking around in a shadow and it's always been there, and I have to deal with it every day."

Since police began investigating the matter she has had to resign from her job due to the stress.

The victim, who is now in her 40s, said she wished she had the strength to pursue the initial statement she made to police about the offending in the 90s.

It is understood the man lost his teaching job after the original complaint.

Judge Hastings said the starting point for sentencing must match starting points that would have been used at the time of the offending.

He adopted a starting point of two years in prison, allowing a 25 per cent discount for the man's guilty pleas, and another 25 per cent discount for mitigating factors, such as the man's service to the community, the fact he had not been charged with any further offences in the following 30 years, and his engagement with a psychologist.

This brought the sentence down to 1 year in prison, which was then downgraded to home detention. When changing a prison sentence to home detention, the amount of time is halved to factor in when the offender would have been eligible for parole.

The final sentence is six months of home detention.

His conditions include not associating with any person under the age of 16 with the supervision of an informed person who has been approved by the probation service.

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