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Northland hostel owner sentencing postponed

Friday 2 Dec 2016 12:35 p.m.

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A Northland hostel owner who indecently assaulted his guests broke into tears on Friday while addressing one of his victims.

Michael Harris was due to be sentenced at the Whangerei District Court this morning, but was pushed back to February because of procedural issues.

Harris has pleaded guilty to charges of drugging guests and filming them while he carried out his attacks.

One of his victims travelled all the way to New Zealand from the US today to deliver a victim impact statement. The tourist said he had thought of Harris as a "father-figure", until he woke up one night to find him in his bed with his arms around him.

The assaults occurred systematically between 2011 and 2014 while Harris was running Mainstreet Lodge Backpackers in Kaitaia. 


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