A man convicted of indecently assaulting a young female employee admitted his crime in court, only to appeal on the basis that he was not mentally fit to make the admission.

And he has been granted permanent name suppression - which his victim says is "unfair" as the community have a right to know who he is and what he did.

The offender owned a business with the victim's parents and she worked there.

In March 2016 the offender, then 70, touched the victim's leg and then grabbed her breast as they drove in the small town where they both live.


She removed his hand - twice - and the offender apologised, blaming his actions on medication he was taking.

As he drove her home, the offender asked if he could hold the victim's hand.

Scared to say no - in a moving car with a man she now feared - she agreed.

He called several days later and apologised again to the victim, but when she reported the assault to police in June - after agonising over what happened for months - the offender denied his actions.

The offender was charged with indecent assault and pleaded not guilty when he appeared in the Auckland District Court.

However days before he was set to go on trial in February last year he changed his plea, admitting the charge.

His application for a discharge without conviction and permanent name suppression was rejected and he was sentenced to 12 months supervision and ordered to pay the victim $7000.

The money was to cover the costs and loss of income she incurred when she relocated the day after the assault.

The victim thought her ordeal was over and was looking forward to moving on with her life and for the community to know what the offender had done.

But he filed an appeal against his conviction and the suppression ruling.

"When he pleaded guilty it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders, it was such a relief," she said.

"I thought that was the end of it, I just wanted this horrible experience to be over and I thought it was.

"It caused a lot of stress, anxiety - it's affected my whole life."

The appeal was due to be heard in July, but postponed until November after concerns were raised that the offender was not fit to even enter a plea based on a combination of health issues and medications.

The offender has been diagnosed with dementia and a condition that affects his nervous system.

The dementia had not been diagnosed at the time of his original sentencing.

At the appeal Justice Anne Hinton heard that a combination of the offender's health conditions and medication could have resulted in hypersexuality and impulse control.

Experts said that the dysfunction was "likely to have been present" at the time of the assault.

Justice Hinton said based on the reports, it was possible the offender was suffering from hypersexuality at the time of the assault, she was unwilling to conclusively rule that was the case.

But while she accepted the new information - she dismissed the appeal.

"Regardless of (the offender's) disease and dementia diagnosis, in my view, a discharge is not appropriate in these circumstances," she said.

"(The offender) has pleaded guilty and been convicted - and that is that.

"An application for a discharge without conviction is not a vehicle to, in effect, plead not guilty."

Justice Hinton did grant the offender permanent name suppression after hearing from health professionals about his "significant risk of suicide".

"I do accept that the publication of (the offender's) name would be likely to endanger his safety or, for similar reasons, cause him extreme hardship," Justice Hinton said.

"I accept that name suppression does not automatically follow a risk of suicide and that risk can be addressed to some degree with medication, but… given (the offender's) serious mental and physical impairments, I consider the threshold (is) met."

The victim said waiting for the appeal felt like her life was on hold.

"Just waking up everyday, thinking 'what's happening?" she said.

"It had a huge impact… I suffered a lot of depression."

The victim was pleased the appeal was dismissed, but disappointed that the offender could not be named.

"He gets to keep name suppression, isn't justice about keeping the community safe? How can you do a crime and your name just be kept under the rug? It's not fair," she said.

"The whole intention of doing this, and the whole last two years of my life and all the stress has been, I just wanted to stand up and say 'it's not ok, I'm not going to let you get away with this.

"I did it for the community, so people would know what he did.

"It's just not right."

Reparation still outstanding

The victim is hopeful that now the appeal has been dismissed, she can move on with her life.

That includes the offender paying reparation.

He was ordered to pay it but when he filed an appeal the reparation case was put on hold.

The reparation was to cover the victim's relocation after the offending and her loss of income when she could not work during that time.

She said the case was not about the money - but the fact it had been ordered and not paid was hanging over her head, preventing her from moving on.

Ministry of Justice chief operating officer Carl Crafar said the hold was required by law.

Now that the appeal had been concluded, the court could - and would - take enforcement action to ensure the offender paid the money.

"The recovery of reparations for victims has priority over the enforcement of fines," Crafar said.

"Generally, the court seeks payment of reparation in full in the first instance.

"Where this is not possible, including if a person is in prison, it negotiates sustainable payment arrangements.

"If required, enforcement can include clamping vehicles, seizing and selling property, making compulsory deductions from a person's income or bank account, issuing warrants to arrest and preventing a person's international travel."