An Auckland gym instructor whose "predatory" behaviour saw him jailed for several cases of indecent assault will serve the remainder of his sentence on home detention.
The Court of Appeal today quashed Keiron Moore's prison term of two years and three months in favour of 10 months' home detention.
Moore had been found guilty on nine of 13 indecent assault charges by a jury after a May trial in the Auckland District Court.
Moore managed a gym and worked as a personal trainer, claiming to have an expertise in exercise regimes for customers with concerns about weight loss. He also described himself to one woman that he was effectively a counsellor.
Instead his modus operandi was to direct or request vulnerable gym users to remove their clothes before measuring their breasts with a tape measure.
Moore denied the offending, which occurred over some 22 months.
The women said in their victim impact statements Moore's actions, which occurred on occasions in locked rooms, had led to serious embarrassment and humiliation.
"Such predatory behaviour is likely to cause ongoing emotional harm, particularly in young women whose vulnerability is increased because they have acknowledged health difficulties as a reason for seeking his advice," the Court of Appeal's decision reads.
In July, Judge Philippa Anne Cunningham sentenced the then 45-year-old to prison.
And she also expressed her reservation about a sentence of home detention.
"Had the sentence been less than two years, and even if I was able to say that this was an unusual case requiring a sentence of home detention, I am not sure I would have imposed home detention," the judge said.
"In my view I should impose a sentence at the top of the hierarchy, not just to denounce and deter what you did but to let every personal trainer out there know that if they cross the line they also fall foul of the criminal law, they will be punished."
But Moore's lawyer Peter Kaye immediately indicated he would appeal the sentence and successfully sought bail for his client pending the outcome of the challenge.
Kaye said Judge Cunningham's starting point for sentence was too high and that she gave insufficient credit for Moore's good character and personal circumstances.
Moore had produced several letters vouching for his good character.
Crown prosecutor David Johnstone also said if Moore's appeal succeeded to the extent of reducing the prison sentence to two years or less, the Crown would not oppose the a sentence of home detention.
Kaye also said Moore has been punished in other ways.
His client had lost his job and his business sold, while the revelation of his offending caused substantial stress to his family, he added.
The Court of Appeal said it was satisfied Moore's mitigating circumstances, comprising his lack of previous convictions, his otherwise good character, and the adverse consequences arising from the loss of his business warranted a deduction.
"We accordingly quash the sentence of two years and three months' imprisonment, and in lieu of a sentence of 20 months' imprisonment impose a sentence of 10 months' home detention," the court's decision reads.