A teenager has been sentenced to seven years' jail for raping a 14-year-old after he hit her from behind and threw her to the ground in a park in Hastings suburb Flaxmere.

Aged 18 at the time of the attack early in the morning of May 11 last year, Deimon Nicholls, of Flaxmere, made repeated denials, including pretending he had been overseas at the time, Judge Tony Adeane noted when Nicholls appeared for sentence in Napier District Court today.

Then Nicholls claimed there had been no sexual connection, and when DNA evidence proved otherwise he claimed it was consensual and maintained his stance during a trial, before jury found him guilty on one charge of rape and one of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection.

While defence counsel Eric Forster said both were intoxicated, and in his client's case it was "spontaneous, drunken offending on the spur of the moment," creating a "warped perception" of what he was doing, involving the vulnerability of a "young, stoned victim walking in a park at night."


Crown prosecutor Rebecca Guthrie said it was no excuse on the part of Nicholls and that while the girl had admitted smoking some cannabis earlier in the night she was not intoxicated.

Evidence was given that Nicholls began following the girl near the Flaxmere shopping centre, caught-up with her near a skatebowl in the park, punched her in the back of the head, gripped her around the neck and threw her to the ground and raped her.

She fled to her home, told her mother and police were called.

The Judge described it as being "opportunistic, nevertheless predatory", and there had been no display of remorse from Nicholls.