Grandfather sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for sexual abuse of grandchildren

Grandfather sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for sexual abuse of grandchildren

A High Court judge has called a 73-year-old grandfather's sexual offending "depraved" and "systematic".

He has been sentenced to 12 years and two months in prison for the rape and sexual abuse of his three young granddaughters.

The girls were aged between six and eight when the offending occurred as they stayed with him frequently between February 2016 and November 2017.

The offender pleaded guilty to 17 charges of sexual offending including sexual violation by rape, sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, and indecent acts on a child.

"Staying with a grandfather should be the stuff of fond memory, not nightmare," Justice Downs said during sentencing at the Whangarei High Court on Tuesday. 

Justice Downs noted the offender had shaken his head repeatedly while in court and said "lies" as he recounted the facts of the case.

The grandfather blamed the kids' behaviour saying they were "naughty" and kept "jumping" on him while in his care. The Judge found this "troubling".

"You need to reflect on what you have done. Only you are to blame. Unless you come to appreciate this, you may be in prison for a very long time."

The sentence was discounted by 15 percent due to the man's age, and his difficulties with hearing and communication.

It was noted there had been "massive changes" in the behaviour of one of the victims, and the others had "become angry, defiant and less able to cope with life's demands".

"Sexual offending can cause incalculable psychological harm, particularly when the victim is a child or young person. This is one reason the law treats sexual offending so seriously," Justice Downs said.