There’s been news in the media of another prominent businessman coming before the courts.
Because of his name being suppressed – at least for now – we can’t be sure if it’s the same prominent businessman who has appeared on previous occasions and had his name suppressed, or a different prominent businessman.
This one has been jailed for 15 years for sexual violation and plying girls with methamphetamine for sex.
Judge Russell Collins also imposed a minimum term of eight years before he is considered for parole because of his high-risk of re-offending.
In other words, the villain of the piece is a prize ratbag.
Alas, we are not allowed to know who he is in the meantime.
He was granted ongoing name suppression until February next year, even though some of his victims and their families wanted the order lifted.
According to this Radio NZ report, the Crown prosecutor Jo Murdoch described him as a man who used his position of authority and his money to prey on vulnerable young women.
He faced 15 charges and Judge Collins said the leading offence was the sexual violation of a woman in her 20s who he referred to as “K”.
She was a methamphetamine addict and on the streets of Auckland when the man’s associates picked her up.
She was taken to his business address and into the basement which she referred to as the “dungeon”.
She was punched in the face, stripped, and put in a neck collar and leg irons.
The woman was then subjected to about two hours of sexual abuse and at one point she begged the man to rape her just so her ordeal would be over.
His response was to tell her she looked beautiful when she cried.
Ms Murdoch said the experience changed the woman’s life forever
The man continued to exert his control over his victim by sending text messages to her a year later.
Judge Collins said it was fair to say that anyone who heard the woman’s testimony will never forget it.
We won’t – and nor will we forget who did it, once he has been named.
The court was told of two younger victims.
And an accomplice.
The businessman used a young woman to find the other young girls who would do sex acts on him for methamphetamine.
She also has name suppression and she would be sentenced in March
Judge Collins said the victim impact statements made disturbing reading.
He said the parents of the girls blamed themselves for what had happened but Judge Collins said he hoped society was mature enough to realise this offending was beyond their influence.
It was only when Judge Collins asked about a possible reparation payment from the man that he piped up from the dock and said he would be willing to give his victims some money.
But that was too little, too late for the Judge.
He said the man showed no signs of remorse.
The man’s lawyer Mark Ryan pointed out his client had gone to rehab for his methamphetamine addiction and said he hoped his client would complete the sex offender programmes in prison.
The judge said the man had a high risk of re-offending and if all the offending was added together the man could get a sentence of 26 years – but he had to step back and look at the offending in its totality.
He came to the end sentence of 15 years in prison with a minimum of 8 years non-parole.
The founder of an outfit called Stop Demand, Denise Ritchie, has chimed in to comment:
“The offender has been variously referred to as a ‘prominent’ or formerly ‘astute’ businessman. Let’s call him what out for what more accurately defines him: a depraved sexual predator. As are his associates.”
Ritchie mentions the judge’s observation that the man had shown no remorse.
He is reported to have remained expressionless during sentencing, but smiled when ongoing name suppression was ordered.
Ritchie says the case is another wake-up call around sexual callousness and the mistreatment of girls and young women.
“Last year the nation grappled with the worrying sexual callousness of the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ – behaviour and attitudes subsequently reported as being more widespread.”
“In this case, this group of older men’s sense of sexual entitlement will undoubtedly have been bolstered by the normalisation of prostitution and their perceived right to pay, with money or drugs, to use and abuse vulnerable young women and girls. To these men, women and girls are mere sex objects to denigrate, violate and discard.”
Stop Demand has some advice for movie-goers too.
“Perversely, early next year countless people – some of whom will ‘tut-tut’ over the horrors of this case – will flock to watch the movie ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, where scenes of bondage and masochism not dissimilar to this case and likewise inflicted by an older man on a young woman, will be heralded as ‘erotic’. Try telling that to real-life victims.”
She can rest assured Alf will not be going to Fifty Shades of Grey.
He and Mrs Grumble are more likely to be found singing “the Hills are Alive…” at “The Sound of Music”.