New Zealand's would-be eighth three-strikes offender has escaped a maximum seven-year prison term because of a court botch-up.

Instead he will serve five months' home detention.

Attul Kumar Patel was sentenced today in the High Court at Auckland by Justice Christian Whata after again being caught lurking in an Auckland cinema before sneaking in and indecently assaulting a young woman.

It was the fourth time the disgraced accountant has committed such an offence in the past five years.

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However, despite the District Court seemingly having already given Patel two prior strikes for his offending, he wasn't sentenced to

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