A man who sexually assaulted shoppers after following them around Dunedin stores has been jailed for 17 months.
Leroy Tairakena, 31, appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday where he added two convictions for indecent assault and two for doing indecent acts to a criminal history totalling more than 170 offences.
Because the public molestations represented the defendant's second strike, he will spend the entire term behind bars without early release.
The court heard how Tairakena's 10-day sex-offence spree began on September 11 last year, just a couple of days after release from prison.
The defendant poked his head into a Princes St gym where a women's jiu-jitsu class was taking place.
He returned 15 minutes later and asked to use the toilet, but was later spotted touching himself while watching the combatants.
Three days later, Tairakena followed a woman around a second-hand clothing store.
His genitalia was "clearly visible" at the time, a police summary noted.
On September 19, the defendant's behaviour escalated, which Judge Michael Turner highlighted as "troubling".
Again, Tairakena targeted a woman and followed her — this time around a supermarket.
When the victim paused to look at an item, the man walked behind her and touched her bottom with the palm of his hand.
Two days later, Tairakena entered a sports apparel store in Crawford St and grabbed an item from a clothing rack.
As he wandered the aisles, he "scanned the store" for women, making his way over to where they queued by the changing cubicles.
He held the garment in front of his body as a makeshift screen with one hand while pleasuring himself with the other.
Tairakena then followed one shopper and passed behind her, brushing his hand across her buttocks as he did so, staring "intensely" at her when he reached the end of the aisle.
When the victim fled for her car, he followed her out of the shop and locked her in his gaze as he walked away, the court heard.
Tairakena initially blamed his actions on substance abuse. He later told a psychologist it had simply been he was "sexually frustrated" after his earlier prison term. The clinician said the defendant minimised his actions and concluded the rise in severity of his crimes suggested sexual deviancy.
Counsel Meg Scally said her client would "ricochet from prison to the community then back again" and was released in Dunedin because he transferred to the Otago Corrections Facility at the end of his last sentence.
Tairakena reported repeated head injuries including being shot. Judge Turner said there was no evidence of it.
The defendant had undergone intensive treatment in Dunedin and Christchurch but his behaviour got him removed from most programmes.
"He's burned every bridge that's been offered to him," the judge said.
"Until he's willing to do something about his alcohol issues, which he's not, he's going to repeat this kind of offending."