A young woman has told a Napier court how she struggled to cope with the impact of sexual abuse against her when she was just nine years old.

The stoic but tearful recollections came in a victim impact statement read to Napier District Court on Tuesday via an audio-visual link, before Hastings man Vaughan Jackson Nukunuku, aged almost 50, was sentenced to four years and six months' jail.

He had previously pleaded guilty to three charges, including two representing multiple offences of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and indecent assault, and one single-incident charge of indecent assault.

The woman told of how she was terrified during the offending, one time "distracting" herself by playing with a "scratchy" card Nukunuku had offered if she would pull down her pants.

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Judge Geoff Rea told Nukunuku some of the offending was "tantamount to attempted rape", and it came as Nukunuku abused the trust placed him and took advantage of the opportunities when alone with the girl.

"This was not spontaneous, and if not premeditated certainly has to be called organised," the Judge said. "You created the opportunity yourself."

"It's a lifetime's work for the complainant to put her life back together after the sorts of things that you have done to her," he said.