Hall on the defensive at sentencing
Tuesday 4 Dec 2012 4:42 p.m.
Last month it was revealed a man convicted of child molestation in Australia was welcomed into the Salvation Army here in New Zealand, and early this year, struck again.
Today, 60-year-old Trevor Hall was due to be sentenced for the sexual attack, but there was a hold-up - and a punch-up.
Australian police once labelled Hall a predator, but today he was on the defensive when out of nowhere a swinging fist came from a complete stranger with a young daughter.
Since 3 News revealed Hall's sexual assault on a six-year-old girl he met through the Whakatane Salvation Army, more alleged victims have come forward and police have now admitted allegations need reviewing.
But today was about justice for one little girl.
"He took her innocence away in such a horrible manner," the girl’s mother told the court.
"As a result of this my daughter has started to soil herself, she has nightmares every night and wakes screaming and cries a lot.
"An additional impact of this has been that we have been ostracised by many of the church members, where we belonged."
While the mother read her statement Hall turned his back, closed his eyes and rocked, occasionally grimacing and licking his lips.
When the judge addressed him he perked up.
"What must be of great concern to the court is the fact that this man has tended to the writer of the report to minimise his behaviour by suggesting it was only a bit of a game," said Crown prosecutor Rob Ronayne.
Hall blamed his offending on ill-health, but the prosecution said that was no excuse.
"Quite how emphysema could cause somebody to sexually abuse a young girl is beyond me," said Mr Ronayne.
Hall's lawyer said his emphysema made him unfit for prison.
The judge wasn't sure enough to rule, postponing the matter so medical advice could be obtained from corrections and Hall's doctor.
Hall will be sentenced on December 17.