He was just nine years old when his mother put him under the wing of North Island scouting organisation leader Paul Jonathan David Nimmo.

The boy's mother hoped Nimmo could be a positive role model and father figure for her son, instead he was repeatedly sexually abused by the 51-year-old.

Nimmo was today sentenced on two charges of doing an indecent act and a charge of unlawful sexual connection and possession of objectionable material between October 6, 2016 and October 23, 2017.

Scouts New Zealand chief executive Josh Tabor said Nimmo was "exited" from the organisation in mind-2015 because he refused to work within its policies and procedures.


He said Nimmo went on to establish a youth group unaffiliated with Scouts New Zealand and successfully convinced young people and their parents to follow him to that

"Our understanding is it is in this context that the offending happened."

Nimmo's lawyer Anne-Marie Beveridge spoke highly of her client's willingness to plead guilty to the charges after first appearing in court in November last year and co-operation with police.

However, probation's pre-sentence report writer was dubious of Nimmo's forthrightness and instead labelled his behaviour as disingenuous and manipulative, saying he was instead engaged in "impression management".

The report revealed Nimmo confessed to "being in love" with the boy and simply not being able to control his true feelings.

Judge Simon Menzies agreed, stating he shared some of the same reservations about how genuine his protestations were.

The court heard how Nimmo and the boy met after his mother took him along to the scouting group, which hosted a large number of children, so he could act as a father figure and mentor.

The pair became so close they would hang out outside the scouting group, the name of which was suppressed by the judge, with Nimmo taking the boy on fishing trips and having him stay at his accommodation.

The pair would eventually share a bed and Nimmo would offend when he thought the boy was asleep.

He bought him many gifts including computer games, clothing, a watch and tablet and even gave him weekly pocket money.

Beveridge accepted that her client's offending was serious, premeditated and targeted a vulnerable and young victim, however she said her client had gone above what is normally required of an offender. She said Nimmo had volunteered to continue helping police after today's sentencing.

She urged Judge Menzies take on a starting point of 5 ½ years instead of the crown's proposed 7 ½ years.

But Judge Menzies followed the crown's recommendation as there were too many aggravating features which included the fact Nimmo not only groomed the boy but also his family and provided financial and emotional support.

"This was very concerning behaviour which occurred over a period of time and you took advantage of your position to insinuate your way into the family.

"You took advantage of the family dynamics as they became known to you and your offending followed what can only be known as classic grooming behaviour."

He described the victim's impact statement as "distressing" as the boy described how he felt having to live with the abuse, writing "I wish I was just a regular kid", "I wish I wasn't having to deal with all this", "I hate that this has happened to me" and "I hate that I have to now live with it".

"Ultimately he hates you and understandably so," the judge told him.

Judge Menzies jailed Nimmo for five years and three months.

Scouts New Zealand said they co-operated fully with the police investigation and only learnt the details of the charges today when they were made public in court.

"Scouts New Zealand feels for the families whose trust was betrayed by Mr Nimmo. Youth development organisations, be they athletic, religious, or recreation in nature should be safe places for young people. We welcome members of the aforementioned youth group back into Scouts New Zealand," Tabor said.

He said there were no complaints against Nimmo when he was with the organisation but encouraged anyone with anything to report to contact the national Scouts office on 0508 726 884.

A police spokesperson commended the victim for his bravery in coming forward.

"It is thanks to him that Nimmo can be held to account for his actions. Nimmo held a position of authority over the victim and breached the trust placed in him by the community."