The statements of two young victims of a local sex offender have been described as "nothing short of harrowing" by a Judge.
Sean Surgeon, 50, appeared before Judge Geoff Rea in the Napier District Court last month after he sexually violated a girl in March this year and then confessed to touching another girl 10 years ago.
Known to both victims as a family friend or associate, he was sentenced to three years and seven months' imprisonment after pleading guilty to one charge of indecent assault and another of unlawful sexual connection.
Surgeon first offended between the end of 2006 and the start of 2007 but only disclosed this to police around the same time he made full admissions about the second incident.
He was visiting the second victim's mother on the afternoon of March 13, 2017 when he asked the 9-year-old girl to help him look for a work boot he thought might be located in a shed on the property.
The girl went to the shed to look for the boot and was soon joined by the offender who picked her up by placing his hands on her backside and between her legs so she could look at the tops of shelves in the shed.
The girl eventually told him she needed a torch to help look for the boot and left the shed for a short while. When she returned similar touching continued.
After telling him she needed to go home the girl left the shed and told her mother what happened.
When spoken to by police Surgeon admitted what he had done, said he couldn't fully explain why he had done it and confessed to earlier offending.
Between the end of 2006 and start of 2007 he had touched another 9-year-old girl while visiting the girl's home as a family friend.
He told police he had stopped when he realised what he was doing and initiated no further contact with the family.
In his submissions during sentencing Surgeon's defence lawyer Eric Forster asked for a reduction for previous good character, rehabilitation prospects and his early guilty plea.
Judge Rea said it was "impossible" to regard the offender's assistance as good character but granted him a full 25 per cent discount for his guilty plea and a further five per cent for any additional remorse not reflected in this plea.
Upon sentencing Judge Rea told the defendant the victim impact statements in his case were "nothing short of harrowing".
"The effect that your actions have had over these two families is profound, it is long-lasting and it is serious."
Judge Rea said while he accepted the defendant had acknowledged his responsibility at a very early state, the fact the offending had occurred at all was "a major concerning feature" of someone his age.
"In both instances it could be said that you have contrived a situation to enable yourself to offend. The vulnerability inherent in the age of the two girls hardly needs to be said.
"The long-term effect on them and their families is profound and there is a significant breach of trust. That marries up to some degree with what can be considered the contrivance or the setting up of this with both of these complainants."
A minimum non-parole period was not imposed.