WARNING: Disturbing content

A 77-year-old man has been sentenced for sex crimes committed in Whanganui over 30 years ago involving two boys aged between 10 and 12.

Colin Roy Gifford was found guilty by a jury in July of doing an indecent act on a boy under 12, indecently assaulting a boy under 16 and committing an indecent act on a boy under 12.

Gifford appeared for sentencing before Judge Philip Crayton in Whanganui District Court on Thursday.


Judge Crayton said that charges one and three reflected repeat offending against one boy.

"That was over a period of approaching two years and it involved repeated performances of oral sex upon that boy," Judge Crayton said.

Charge two was committed against another boy of a similar age.

"That young boy, as he was, had a resilient and supportive environment which allowed him to fight back and to stop your offending."

Gifford would be kind to the vulnerable young boys and offer them friendship. Then he would breach their trust for sexual gratification.

He was aged in his 40s when the offending occurred, but he also had a history of offending from when he was in his 20s.

In 1963, Gifford's offending was of a similar nature, but on that occasion the victim was not a young person.

That offending was dealt with by way of probation and a financial penalty in 1966 and Gifford was given an opportunity in the court due to his developmental issues.


"I do note that this defendant went into care at age four and from what he recalls it didn't all go well in terms of the various foster homes he was in," said defence counsel for Gifford, Stephen Ross.

"He developed Poliomyelitis at age 6, missed schooling as a result of that and was regarded as and bullied as being IHC (intellectually handicapped)."

Health records submitted to the Judge noted that Gifford had suffered two heart attacks and had ongoing and significant health issues.

The victim of charges one and three sat in the public gallery and Crown Prosecutor Chris Wilkinson-Smith read from a victim impact statement he had provided.

"I despise you and I'm glad for both of our sakes that I didn't take the law into my own hands, which was intended many times in my life. You disgust me and I'm glad your guilt was proven."

In it the victim stated he had often felt confused growing up, that he was depressed, went to counselling and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

He said that he'd done drugs, been angry and struggled with relationships.

"I hope you are jailed for what you've done to me as holding this in for so long was like being in jail in my head.

"I despise you and I'm glad for both of our sakes that I didn't take the law into my own hands, which was intended many times in my life.

"You disgust me and I'm glad your guilt was proven."

Gifford showed little remorse for his offending and identified only that he potentially might have forgotten some of the events that occurred.

Judge Crayton admonished Gifford for making his victim's relive their horror by forcing them to recount what had happened to them in front of "strangers" in the trial.

"I can understand the feelings of the victim, that holding you accountable should not stop at anything less than a term of imprisonment. However, this is not a court of retribution.

"There needs to be a clear message of deterrence and denunciation of you and others who may consider in some way that it is appropriate to offend against children."

Judge Crayton sentenced Gifford to 12 months' home detention with 12 months' post detention conditions for charges one and three.

On charge two, Gifford was sentenced to one months' home detention to be served concurrent with the same post detention conditions.

He also ordered Gifford to make two emotional harm reparation payments: one of $10,000 and the other of $1000.